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ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
Digitized by the Internet Archive
AN AMERICAN GENTLEMAN,
m ACCORDANCE WITH WHOSE CLASSIC TASTE
TOE FOLLOWING NARRATIVE HAS BEEN DESIGNED,
IT IS NOW, FN RETURN FOR NUMEROUS DELIGHTFUL HOURS^
AND WITH THE KINDEST WISHES,
BY HIS AFFECTIONATE FRIEND,
TO THE HESITATING PURCHASER
|p sailor tales to sailor tunes,
Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
V schooners, islands, and maroons
And Buccaneers and buried Gold»
And all the old romance, retold
Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of o\d,
The wiser youngsters of to-day :
—So be it, and fall on! If not,
M* studious youth no longer crave,
His ancient appetites forgot,
Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
Or Cooper of the wood and wave ;
So be it, also ! And may I
And all my pirates share the grave
Where these and their creations UeJ
MAP OP TREASURE ISLAND frtmtispkc*
"WERE YOU ADDRESSING ME, SIR?" SAID THE DOCTOR ... 8
^OH," I SAID, "STOP HIM! IT'S BLACK DOG!" 60
"YES, SIR* SAID HE, "THIS IS THE SPOT, TO BE SURE, AND VERY
PRETTILY DRAWN OUT" 88
"GRAY, FOLLOWING CLOSE BEHIND ME, HAD CUT DOWff THE
BIG BOATSWAIN" I$8
THE COXSWAIN LOOSED HIS GRASP UPON THE SHROUDS AMD
PLUNGED HEAD FIRST INTO THE WATER 19$
!• YOU LOOK THERE! THAT'S WHY!" 224
J'THERE AINT A THING LEFT HERE," SAID MERRY, STILL PEEL-
ING AROUND AMONG THE BONES 242
"LONG JOHN HAD FIRED TWO BARRELS OF A PISTOL INTO TOEE
STRUGGLING MERRY .254
MY FIRST BOOK — "TREASURE ISLAND 99
IT was far, indeed, from being my first book, for I am
not a novelist alone. But I am well aware that my
paymaster, the great public, regards what else I have
written with indifference, if not aversion. If it call upon
me at all, it calls on me in the familiar and indelible
character; and when I am asked to talk of my first book,
no question in the world but what is meant is my first
Sooner or later, somehow, anyhow, I was bound I
was to write a novel. It seems vain to ask why. Men
are born with various manias : from my earliest child-
hood it was mine to make a plaything of imaginary
series of events ; and as soon as I was able to write, I
became a good friend to the paper-makers. Reams upon
reams must have gone to the making of " Rathillet, ,?
the "Pentland Rising," 1 the "King's Pardon" (oth^
erwise "Park Whitehead"), "Edward Darren," "A
Country Dance," and a "Vendetta in the West;" and
it is consolatory to remember that these reams are now
1 Ne pas cdnfondre. Not the slim green pamphlet with the imprint
of Andrew Elliott, for which (as I see with amazement from the book-.
lists) the gentlemen of England are willing to pay fancy prices; but its
predecessor, a bulky historical romance without a spark of merit, and
now deleted from the world.
Copyrighted 1894, by Robert Louis Stevensow
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND »
all ashes, and have been received again into the soil. I
have named but a few of my ill-fated efforts : only such,
indeed, as came to a fair bulk ere they were desisted
from; and even so they cover a long vista of years.
"Rathillet" was attempted before fifteen, the "Ven-
detta " at twenty-nine, and the succession of defeats
lasted unbroken till I was thirty-one. By that time I
had written little books and little essays and short
stories, and had got patted on the back and paid for
them — though not enough to live upon. I had quite a
reputation. I was the successful man. I passed my
days in toil, the futility of which would sometimes make
my cheek to burn, — that I should spend a man's energy
upon this business, and yet could not earn a livelihood ;
and still there shone ahead of me an unattained ideal.
Although I had attempted the thing with vigor not less
than ten or twelve times, I had not yet written a novel.
All — all my pretty ones — had gone for a little, and
then stopped inexorably, like a school-boy's watch. I
might be compared to a cricketer of many years' stand-
ing who should never have made a run. Anybody can
write a short story — a bad one, I mean — who has in-
dustry and paper and time enough ; but not everyone
may hope to write even a bad novel. It is the length
that kills. The accepted novelist may take his novel
up and put it down, spend days upon it in vain, and
write not any more than he makes haste to blot Not
so the beginner. Human nature has certain rights; in-
stinct — the instinct of self-preservation — forbids that
any man (cheered and supported by the consciousness
of no previous victory) should endure the miseries of
unsuccessful literary toil beyond a period to be meas-
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND "
ured in weeks. There must be something for hope to
feed upon. The beginner must have a slant of wind, a
lucky vein must be running, he must be in one of those
hours when the words come and the phrases balance
of themselves — even to begin. And having begun,
what a dread looking forward is that until the book
shall be accomplished! For so long a time the slant is
to continue unchanged, the vein to keep running; for
so long a time you must hold at command the same
quality of style ; for so long a time your puppets are to
be always vital, always consistent, always vigorous. I
remember 1 used to look, in those days, upon every
three-volume novel with a sort of veneration, as a feat
— not possibly of literature — but at least of physical and
moral endurance and the courage of Ajax.
In the fated year I came to live with my father and
mother at Kinnaird, above Pitlochry. There I walked
on the red moors and by the side of the golden burn.
The rude, pure air of our mountains inspirited, if it did
not inspire us; and my wife and I projected a joint
volume of bogie stories, for which she wrote "The
Shadow on the Bed," and I turned out " Thrawn Janet,"
and a first draft of the " Merry Men." I love my native
air, but it does not love me; and the end of this de-
lightful period was a cold, a fly blister, and a migration,
by Strathairdle and Glenshee, to the Castleton of Brae-
mar. There it blew a good deal and rained in a pro-
portion. My native air was more unkind than man's
ingratitude; and I must consent to pass a good deal of
my time between four walls in a house lugubriously
known as "the late Miss McGregor's cottage. " m And
now admire the finger of predestination. There was a
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND"
school-boy in the late Miss McGregor's cottage, home
for the holidays, and much in want of "something
craggy to break his mind upon." He had no thought
of literature ; it was the art of Raphael that received his
fleeting suffrages, and with the aid of pen and ink and
a shilling box of water-colours, he had soon turned one
of the rooms into a picture-gallery. My more imme-
diate duty towards the gallery was to be showman;
but I would sometimes unbend a little, join the artist
(so to speak) at the easel, and pass the afternoon with
him in a generous emulation, making coloured drawings.
On one of these occasions I made the map of an island;
it was elaborately and (I thought) beautifully coloured;
the shape of it took my fancy beyond expression; it
contained harbours that pleased me like sonnets; and
with the unconsciousness of the predestined, I ticketed
my performance "Treasure Island." I am told there
are people who do not care for maps, and find it hard
to believe. The names, the shapes of the woodlands,
the courses of the roads and rivers, the prehistoric foot-
steps of man still distinctly traceable up hill and down
dale, the mills and the ruins, the ponds and the ferries,
perhaps the "Standing Stone " or the " Druidic Circle "
on the heath ; here is an inexhaustible fund of interest
for any man with eyes to see, or twopence worth of
imagination to understand with. No child but must
remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the
infinitesimal forest, and seeing it grow populous with
fairy armies. Somewhat in this way, as I pored upon
my map of "Treasure Island," the future characters of
the book began to appear there visibly among imagi-
nary woods; and their brown faces and bright weapons
MY FIRST BOOK— "TREASURE ISLAND"
peeped out upon me from unexpected quarters, as they
passed to and fro, fighting, and hunting treasure, on
these few square inches of a flat projection. The next
thing I knew, I had some paper before me and was
writing out a list of chapters. How often have I done
so, and the thing gone no farther! But there seemed
elements of success about this enterprise. It was to be
a story for boys ; no need of psychology or fine writing ;
and I had a boy at hand to be a touchstone. Women
were excluded. I was unable to handle a brig (which
the Hispaniola should have been), but I thought I could
make shift to sail her as a schooner without public
shame. And then I had an idea for John Silver from
which I promised myself funds of entertainment: to
take an admired friend of mine (whom the reader very
likely knows and admires as much as I do), to deprive
him of all his finer qualities and higher graces of tem-
perament, to leave him with nothing but his strength,
his courage, his quickness, and his magnificent genial-
ity, and to try to express these in terms of the culture
©f a raw tarpaulin. Such psychical surgery is, I think,
a common way of " making character;" perhaps it is,
indeed, the only way. We can put in the quaint figure
that spoke a hundred words with us yesterday by the
wayside; but do we know him ? Our friend, with his
infinite variety and flexibility, we know — but can we
put him in ? Upon the first we must engraft secondary
and imaginary qualities, possibly all wrong; from the
second, knife in hand, we must cut away and deduct
the needless arborescence of his nature ; but the trunk
and the few branches that remain we may at least be
fairly sure ©f.
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND*
On a chill September morning, by the cheek of a brisk
fire, and the rain drumming on the window, I began the
" Sea Cook," for that was the original title. I have be-
gun (and finished) a number of other books, but I can-
not remember to have sat down to one of them with
more complacency. It is not to be wondered at, for
stolen waters are proverbially sweet. I am now upon
a painful chapter. No doubt the parrot once belonged
to Robinson Crusoe. No doubt the skeleton is con-
veyed from Poe. I think little of these, they are trifles
and details; and no man can hope to have a monopoly
of skeletons or make a corner in talking birds. The
stockade, I am told, is from "Masterman Ready." It
may be, I care not a jot. These useful writers had ful-
filled the poet's saying : departing, they had left behind
11 Footprints on the sands of time ;
Footprints that perhaps another "
and ! was the other ! It is my debt to Washington Irving
that exercises my conscience, and justly so, for I believe
plagiarism was rarely carried farther. I chanced to pick
up the " Tales of a Traveller" some years ago, with a
view to an anthology of prose narrative, and the book
flew up and struck me : Billy Bones, his chest, the com-
pany in the parlour, the whole inner spirit and a good
deal of the material detail of my first chapters — all were
there, all were the property of Washington Irving. But
I had no guess of it then as I sat writing by the fireside,
in what seemed the springtides of a somewhat pedestrian
inspiration; nor yet day by day, after lunch, as I read
aloud my morning's work to the family. It seemed to
me original as sin ; it seemed to belong to me like my
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND"
rigfrt eye. I had counted on one boy; I found I had two
in my audience. My father caught fire at once with all
the romance and childishness of his original nature. His
own stories, that every night of his life he put himself
to sleep with, dealt perpetually with ships, roadside inns,
robbers, old sailors, and commercial travellers before the
era of steam. He never finished one of these romances :
the lucky man did not require to! But in "Treasure
Island " he recognized something kindred to his own
imagination; it was his kind of picturesque; and he not
only heard with delight the daily chapter, but set him-
self actively to collaborate. When the time came for
Billy Bones's chest to be ransacked, he must have passed
the better part of a day preparing, on the back of a legal
envelope, an inventory of its contents, which 1 exactly
followed; and the name of "Flint's old ship," the
Walrus, was given at his particular request. And
now, who should come dropping in, ex machina, but
Dr. Jaap, like tne disguised prince who is to bring down
the curtain upon peace and happiness in the last act, for
he carried in his pocket not a horn or a talisman, but a
publisher; had, in fact, been charged by my old friend
Mr. Henderson to unearth new writers for "Young
Folks." Even the ruthlessness of a united family recoiled
before the extreme measure of inflicting on our guest the
mutilated members of the "Sea Cook ;" at the same
time we would by no means stop our readings, and ac-
cordingly the tale was begun again at the beginning, and
solemnly redelivered for the benefit of Dr. Jaap. From
that moment on I have thought highly of his critical
faculty ; for when he left us, he carried away the manu-
script in his portmanteau.
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND"
Here, then, was everything to keep me up — sympathy,
help, and now a positive engagement I had chosen be-
sides a very easy style. Compare it with the almost con-
temporary "Merry Men; " one may prefer the one style,
one the other — 'tis an affair of character, perhaps of
mood ; but no expert can fail to see that the one is much
more difficult, and the other much easier, to maintain.
It seems as though a full-grown, experienced man of
letters might engage to turn out "Treasure Island " at so
many pages a day, and keep his pipe alight. But alas!
this was not my case. Fifteen days I stuck to it, and
turned out fifteen chapters ; and then, in the early
paragraphs of the sixteenth, ignominiously lost hold.
My mouth was empty ; there was not one word more
of ' ' Treasure Island " in my bosom ; and here were the
proofs of the beginning already waiting me at the ' ' Hand
and Spear ! " There I corrected them, living for the most
part alone, walking on the heath at Weybridge in dewy
autumn mornings, a good deal pleased with what I had
done, and more appalled than I can depict to you in words
at what remained for me to do. I was thirty-one; I was
the head of a family ; I had lost my health ; I had never
yet paid my way, had never yet made two hundred
pounds a year ; my father had quite recently bought back
and cancelled a book that was judged a failure ; was this
to be another and last fiasco? I was indeed very
close on despair; but I shut my mouth hard, and during
the journey to Davos, where I was to pass the winter,
had the resolution to think of other things, and bury
myself in the novels of M. du Boisgobey. Arrived at
my destination, down I sat one morning to the unfinished
tale, and behold! it flowed from me like Smalltalk; and
MY FIRST BOOK— "TREASURE ISLAND"
in a second tide of delighted industry, and again at the
rate of a chapter a day, I finished ''Treasure Island/'
It had to be transacted almost secretly. My wife was ill,
the school-boy remained alone of the faithful, and John
Addington Symonds (to whom I timidly mentioned
what I was engaged on) looked on me askance. He was
at that time very eager I should write on the "Charac-
ters " of Theophrastus, so far out may be the judgments
of the wisest men. But Symonds (to be sure) was
scarce the confidant to go to for sympathy in a boy's
story. He was large-minded; "a full man, ,, if there
ever was one; but the very name of my enterprise
would suggest to him only capitulations of sincerity and
solecisms of style. Well, he was not far wrong.
"Treasure Island " — it was Mr. Henderson who de-
leted the first title, "The Sea Cook" — appeared duly in
the story paper, where it figured in the ignoble midst
without woodcuts, and attracted not the least attention.
I did not care. I liked the tale myself, for much the same
reason as my father liked the beginning : it was my kind
of picturesque. I was not a little proud of John Silver
also, and to this day rather admire that smooth and
formidable adventurer. What was infinitely more ex-
hilarating, I had passed a landmark ; I had finished a tale,
and written "The End" upon my manuscript, as I had
not done since the "Pentland Rising," when I was a
boy of sixteen, not yet at college. In truth it was so by
a set of lucky accidents : had not Dr. Jaap come on his
visit, had not the tale flowed from me with singular
ease, it must have been laid aside like its predecessors,
and found a circuitous and unlamented way to the fire.
Purists may suggest it would have been better so. I am
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND**
not of that mind. The tale seems to have given much
pleasure, and it brought (or was the means of bringing)
fire and food and wine to a deserving family in which I
took an interest. I need scarce say I mean my own.
But the adventures of "Treasure Island" are not yet
quite at an end. 1 had written it up to the map. The
map was the chief part of my plot. For instance, I had
called an islet "Skeleton Island," not knowing what I
meant, seeking only for the immediate picturesque; and
it was to justify this name that I broke into the gallery
of Mr. Poe and stole Flint's pointer. And in the same
way, it was because I had made two harbours that the
Hispaniola was sent on her wanderings with Israel
Hands. The time came when it was decided to repub-
lish, and I sent in my manuscript and the map along
with it to Messrs. Cassell. The proofs came, they were
corrected, but I heard nothing of the map. I wrote and
asked; was told it had never been received, and sat
aghast. It is one thing to draw a map at random, set a
scale in one corner of it at a venture, and write up a story
to the measurements. It is quite another to have to ex-
amine a whole book, make an inventory of all the allu-
sions contained in it, and with a pair of compasses pain-
fully design a map to suit the data. I did it, and the
map was drawn again in my father's office, with embel-
lishments of blowing whales and sailing ships; and my
father himself brought into service a knack he had of
various writing, and elaborately forged the signature of
Captain Flint and the sailing directions of Billy Bones.
But somehow it was never "Treasure Island" to me.
I have said it was the most of the plot. I might almost
say it was the whole. A few reminiscences of Poe, De-
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND »
toe, and Washington Irving, a copy of Johnson's '"Buc-
caneers," the name of the Dead Man's Chest from Kings-
i ley's "At Last," some recollections of canoeing on the
high seas, a cruise in a fifteen-ton schooner yacht, and
! the map itself with its infinite, eloquent suggestion,
i made up the whole of my materials. It is perhaps not
r often that a map figures so largely in a tale ; yet it is al-
/ ways important. The author must know his country-
| side, whether real or imaginary, like his hand; the dis-
tances, the points of the compass, the place of the sun's
rising, the behaviour of the moon, should all be beyond
cavil. And how troublesome the moon is ! I have come
to grief over the moon in " Prince Otto; " and, so soon
as that was pointed out to me, adopted a precaution
which I recommend to other men — I never write now
without an almanac. With an almanac, and the map
of the country and the plan of every house, either actu-
ally plotted on paper or clearly and immediately appre-
hended in the mind, a man may hope to avoid some of
the grossest possible blunders. With the map before
him, he will scarce allow the sun to set in the east, as
it does in the "Antiquary." With the almanac at hand,
he will scarce allow two horsemen, journeying on the
most urgent affair, to employ six days, from three of the
Monday morning till late in the Saturday night, upon a
journey of, say, ninety or a hundred miles; and before
the week is out, and still on the same nags, to cover
fifty in one day, as he may read at length in the inimi-
table novel of "Rob Roy." And it is certainly well,
though far from necessary, to avoid such croppers. But
it is my contention — my superstition, if you like — that
he who is faithful to his map, and consults it, and draws
MY FIRST BOOK— " TREASURE ISLAND »
from it his inspiration, daily and hourly, gains positive
support, and not mere negative immunity from acci-
dent. The tale has a root there ; it grows in that soil ;
it has a spine of its own behind the words. Better if
the country be real, and he has walked every foot of it
and knows every milestone. But, even with imaginary
places, he will do well in the beginning to provide a
map. As he studies it, relations will appear that he had
not thought upon. He will discover obvious though
unsuspected short cuts and footpaths for his messen-
gers; and even when a map is not all the plot, as it
was in "Treasure Island," it will be found to be a mine
Robert Louis Stevenson.
THE NOVELS AND TALES OF
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
Copyright, 1894, by
Charles Scrjbner's Sons
THE SCRIBNER PRESS
NEW YORK, U. S. A.
THE OLD BUCCANEER
I The Old Sea Dog at the " Admiral Benbow" .... 3
II Black Dog appears and disappears 11
III The Black Spot 19
IV The Sea-chest 27
V The Last of the Blind Man . . ^5
VI The Captain's Papers 42
THE SEA COOK
VII I gc .3 Bristol 53
VIII At the Sign of the "Spy-glass" 59
IX Powder and Arms , . . , . 66
X The Voyage 73
XI What I Heard in the Apple Barrel 80
XII Council of War . ..••„„ 88
MY SHORE ADVENTURE
XI I I How my Shore Adventure began • • . 97
XIV The First Blow .............. 103
XV The Man of the Island ••-•.no
XVi Narrative continued by the Doctor : How the Ship
was Abandoned 121
XVI Narrative Continued by the Doctor : The Jolly-boat's
Last Trip 127
XVIii Narrative Continued by the Doctor : End of the First
Day's Fighting . ... 133
X01 Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins : The Garrisok in
the Stockade 139
XX Silver's Embassy 146
X3H The Attack . 153
M/ SEA ADVENTURE
XXM How my Sea Adventure began 163
XXU1 The Ebb-tide Runs ..170
XXIV The Cruise of the Coracle ......... 176
XXV ! Strike the Jolly Roger 183
XXVI Israel Hands 189
XXVII "Pieces of Eight" 100
XXVIii la the Enemy's Camp 209
XXIX The Black Spot Again ...........219
XXX On Parole 227
XXXI The Treasure Hunt — Flint's Powte* 236
XXXII The Treasure Hunt — The Voice among the Trbbs . 244 ,
XXX HI The Fall of a Chieftain 252 j
XXXiV And Last ; 26© |
THE OLD BUCCANEER
THE OLD SEA DOG AT THE "ADMIRAL BENBOW "
SQUIRE TRELAWNEY, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of
these gentlemen having asked me to write down
the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the
beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the
bearings of the island, and that only because there is still
treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of
grace 17 — , and go back to the time when my father
kept the "Admiral Benbow" inn, and the brown old
seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging
under our roof.
I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came
plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind
him in a hand-barrow ; a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown
man ; his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulders of his
soiled blue coat; his hands ragged and scarred, with
black, broken nails ; and the sabre cut across one cheek,
a dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the
cove and whistling to himself as he did so, and then
breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often
afterwards : —
" Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! "
in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have
been tuned and broken at the capstan bars. Then he
rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike
that he carried, and when my father appeared, called
roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was brought
to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering
on the taste, and still looking about him at the cliffs and
up at our signboard.
"This is a handy cove," says he, at length; "and a
pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate ? "
My father told him no, very little company, the more
was the pity.
"Well, then," said he, "this is the berth for me.
Here you, matey," he cried to the man who trundled
the barrow ; "bring up alongside and help up my chest.
I'll stay here a bit," he continued. "I'm a plain man;
rum and bacon and eggs is what 1 want, and that head
up there for to watch ships off. What you mought call
me? You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what
you're at — there;" and he threw down three or four
gold pieces on the threshold. " You can tell me when
I've worked through that," says he, looking as fierce as
And, indeed, bad as his clothes were, and coarsely as
he spoke, he had none of the appearance of a man who
sailed before the mast; but seemed like a mate or skip-
per, accustomed to be obeyed or to strike. The man
who came with the barrow told us the mail had set him
down the morning before at the "Royal George; " that
he had inquired what inns there were along the coast,
and hearing ours well spoken of, I suppose, and de-
scribed as lonely, had chosen it from the others for his
THE OLD SEA DOG AT THE "ADMIRAL BENBOW "
place of residence. And that was all we could learn of
He was a very silent man by custom. All day he
hung round the cove, or upon the cliffs, with a brass
telescope; all evening he sat in a corner of the parlour
next the fire, and drank rum and water very strong.
Mostly he would not speak when spoken to ; only look
up sudden and fierce, and blow through his nose like a
fog-horn ; and we and the people who came about our
house soon learned to let him be. Every day, when he
came back from his stroll, he would ask if any seafaring
men had gone by along the road ? At first we thought
it was the want of company of his own kind that made
him ask this question; but at last we began to see he
was desirous to avoid them. When a seaman put up
at the " Admiral Benbow " (as now and then some did,
making by the coast road for Bristol), he would look in
at him through the curtained door before he entered the
parlour; and he was always sure to be as silent as a
mouse when any such was present. For me, at least,
there was no secret about the matter; for I was, in a
way, a sharer in his alarms. He had taken me aside
one day, and promised me a silver fourpenny on the
first of every month if I would only keep my " weather-
eye open for a seafaring man with one leg," and let him
know the moment he appeared. Often enough, when
the first of the month came round, and I applied to him
for my wage, he would only blow through his nose at
me, and stare me down ; but before the week was out
he was sure to think better of it, bring me my fourpenny
piece, and repeat his orders to look out for "the sea-
faring man with one leg."
How that personage haunted my dreams, I need
scarcely tell you. On stormy nights, when the wind
shook the fourcprners of the house, and the surf roared
along the cove and up the cliffs, I would see him in a
thousand forms, and with a thousand diabolical expres-
sions. Now the leg would be cut off at the knee, now
at the hip; now he was a monstrous kind of a creature
who had never had but the one leg, and that in the mid-
dle of his body. To see him leap and run and pursue
me over hedge and ditch was the worst of nightmares.
And altogether I paid pretty dear for my monthly four-
penny piece, in the shape of these abominable fancies.
But though I was so terrified by the idea of the sea-
faring man with one leg, I was far less afraid of the cap-
tain himself than anybody else who knew him. There
were nights when he took a deal more rum and water
than his head would carry; and then he would some-
times sit and sing his wicked, old, wild sea-songs,
minding nobody; but sometimes he would call for
glasses round, and force all the trembling company to
listen to his stories or bear a chorus to his singing. Often
I have heard the house shaking with " Yo-ho-ho, and a
bottle of rum ; " all the neighbours joining in for dear
life, with the fear of death upon them, and each singing
louder than the other, to avoid remark. For in these
fits he was the most over-riding companion ever known ;
he would slap his hand on the table for silence all round ;
he would fly up in a passion of anger at a question, or
sometimes because none was put, and so he judged the
company was not following his story. Nor would he
allow any one to leave the inn till he had drunk himself
sleepy and reeled off to bed.
THE OLD SEA DOG AT THE " ADMIRAL BENBOW "
His stories were what frightened people worst of all.
Dreadful stories they were; about hanging, and walking
the plank, and storms at sea, and the Dry Tortugas,
and wild deeds and places on the Spanish Main. By
his own account he must have lived his life among some
of the wickedest men that God ever allowed upon the
sea; and the language in which he told these stories
shocked our plain country people almost as much as the
crimes that he described. My father was always say-
ing the inn would be ruined, for people would soon
cease coming there to be tyrannised over and put down,
and sent shivering to their beds ; but I really believe his
presence did us good. People were frightened at the
time, but on looking back they rather liked it; it was a
fine excitement in a quiet country life; and there was
even a party of the younger men who pretended to ad-
mire him, calling him a "true sea-dog," and a "real
old salt," and such like names, and saying there was
the sort of man that made England terrible at sea.
In one way, indeed, he bade fair to ruin us ; for he
kept on staying week after week, and at last month
after month, so that all the money had been long ex-
hausted, and still my father never plucked up the heart
to insist on having more. If ever he mentioned it, the
captain blew through his nose so loudly, that you might
say he roared, and stared my poor father out of the room.
I have seen him wringing his hands after such a rebuff,
and I am sure the annoyance and the terror he lived in
must have greatly hastened his early and unhappy death.
All the time he lived with us the captain made no
change whatever in his dress but to buy some stockings
from a hawker. One of the cocks of his hat having
fallen down, he let it hang from that day forth, though
it was a great annoyance when it blew. I remember
the appearance of his coat, which he patched himself
up-stairs in his room, and which, before the end, was
nothing but patches. He never wrote or received a
letter, and he never spoke with any but the neighbours,
and with these, for the most part, only when drunk on
rum. The great sea-chest none of us had ever seen
He was only once crossed, and that was towards the
end, when my poor father was far gone in a decline that
took him off. Dr. Livesey came late one afternoon to
see the patient, took a bit of dinner from my mother,
and went into the parlour to smoke a pipe until his
horse should come down from the hamlet, for we had
no stabling at the old " Benbow." I followed him in,
and I remember observing the contrast the neat, bright
doctor, with his powder as white as snow, and his
bright, black eyes and pleasant manners, made with the
coltish country folk, and above all, with that filthy,
heavy, bleared scarecrow of a pirate of ours, sitting
far gone in rum, with his arms on the table. Suddenly
he — the captain, that is — began to pipe up his eternal
" Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum ! "
At first I had supposed "the dead man's chest*' to be
that identical big box of his up-stairs in the front room,
and the thought had been mingled in my nightmares
with that of the one-legged seafaring man. But by this
'WERE YOU ADDRESSING ME, SIR?" SAID THE DOCTOR
THE OLD SEA DOG AT THE "ADMIRAL BENBOW"
time we had all long ceased to pay any particular notice
to the song; it was new, that night, to nobody but Dr.
Livesey, and on him I observed it did not produce an
agreeable effect, for he looked up for a moment quite an-
grily before he went on with his talk to old Taylor, the
gardener, on a new cure for the rheumatics. In the
meantime, the captain gradually brightened up at his
own music, and at last flapped his hand upon the table
before him in a way we all knew to mean — silence.
The voices stopped at once, all but Dr. Livesey's; he
went on as before, speaking clear and kind, and draw-
ing briskly at his pipe between every word or two. The
captain glared at him for a while, flapped his hand again,
glared still harder, and at last broke out with a villain-
ous, low oath: "Silence, there, between decks!"
"Were you addressing me, sir?" says the doctor;
and when the ruffian had told him, with another oath,
that this was so, "I have only one thing to say to you,
sir," replies the doctor, "that if you keep on drinking
rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty
The old fellow's fury was awful. He sprang to his
feet, drew and opened a sailor's clasp-knife, and, balanc-
ing it open on the palm of his hand, threatened to pin
the doctor to the wall.
The doctor never so much as moved. He spoke to
him, as before, over his shoulder, and in the same tone
of voice ; rather high, so that all the room might hear,
but perfectly calm and steady : —
"If you do not put that knife this instant in your
pocket, I promise, upon my honour, you shall hang at
the next assizes."
Then followed a battle of looks between them ; but
the captain soon knuckled under, put up his weapon, and
resumed his seat, grumbling like a beaten dog.
"And now, sir," continued the doctor, "since I now
know there's such a fellow in my district, you may count
I'll have an eye upon you day and night. I'm not a
doctor only ; I'm a magistrate ; and if I catch a breath of
complaint against you, if it's only for a piece of incivil-
ity like to-night's, I'll take effectual means to have you
hunted down and routed out of this. Let that suffice."
Soon after Dr. Livesey's horse came to the door, and
he rode away; but the captain held his peace that
evening, and for many evenings to come.
BLACK DOG APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS
It was not very long after this that there occurred the
first of the mysterious events that rid us at last of the
captain, though not, as you will see, of his affairs. It
was a bitter cold winter, with long, hard frosts and
heavy gales; and it was plain from the first that my
poor father was little likely to see the spring. He sank
daily, and my mother and I had all the inn upon our
hands; and were kept busy enough, without paying
much regard to our unpleasant guest.
It was one January morning, very early — a pinching,
frosty morning — the cove all grey with hoar-frost, the
ripple lapping softly on the stones, the sun still low and
only touching the hilltops and shining far to seaward.
The captain had risen earlier than usual, and set out
down the beach, his cutlass swinging under the broad
skirts of the old blue coat, his brass telescope under his
arm, his hat tilted back upon his head. I remember his
breath hanging like smoke in his wake as he strode off,
and the last sound I heard of him, as he turned the big
rock, was a loud snort of indignation, as though his
mind was still running upon Dr. Livesey.
Well, mother was up-stairs with father; and I was
laying the breakfast-table against the captain's return.
when the parlour door opened, and a man stepped in on
whom I had never set my eyes before. He was a pale,
tallowy creature, wanting two fingers of the left hand ;
and, though he wore a cutlass, he did not look much like
a fighter. 1 had always my eye open for seafaring men,
with one leg or two, and I remember this one puzzled
me. He was not sailorly, and yet he had a smack of
the sea about him too.
I asked him what was for his service, and he said he
would take rum ; but as I was going out of the room to
fetch it he sat down upon a table, and motioned me to draw
near. I paused where I was with my napkin in my hand.
"Come here, sonny/' says he. "Come nearer here."
I took a step nearer.
" Is this here table for my mate, Bill ? " he asked, with
a kind of leer.
I told him I did not know his mate Bill ; and this was
for a person who stayed in our house, whom we called
" Well," said he, "my mate Bill would be called the
captain, as like as not. He has a cut on one cheek, and
a mighty pleasant way with him, particularly in drink,
has my mate, Bill. We'll put it, for argument like, that
your captain has a cut on one cheek — and we'll put it,
if you like, that that cheek's the right one. Ah, well !
I told you. Now, is my mate Bill in this here house ? "
I told him he was out walking.
"Which way, sonny ? Which way is he gone ? "
And when I had pointed out the rock and told him
how the captain was likely to return, and how soon^
and answered a few other questions, "Ah," said he,
"this'll be as good as drink to my mate Bill."
12 .._ _
BLACK DOG APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS
The expression of his face as he said these words was
not at all pleasant, and I had my own reasons for think-
ing that the stranger was mistaken, even supposing he
meant what he said. But it was no affair of mine, I
thought; and, besides, it was difficult to know what to
do. The stranger kept hanging about just inside the
inn door, peering round the corner like a cat waiting for
a mouse. Once I stepped out myself into the road, but
he immediately called me back, and, as I did not obey
quick enough for his fancy, a most horrible change came
over his tallowy face, and he ordered me in, with an oath
that made me jump. As soon as I was back again he
returned to his former manner, half fawning, half sneer-
ing, patted me on the shoulder, told me I was a good
boy, and he had taken quite a fancy to me. " I have a
son of my own," said he, " as like you as two blocks,
and he's all the pride of my 'art. But the great thing
for boys is discipline, sonny — discipline. Now, if you
had sailed along of Bill, you wouldn't have stood there
to be spoke to twice — not you. That was never Bill's
way, nor the way of sich as sailed with him. And here,
sure enough, is my mate Bill, with a spy-glass under
his arm, bless his old 'art, to be sure. You and me'l!
just go back into the parlour, sonny, and get behind the
door, and we'll give Bill a little surprise — bless his 'art,
I say again."
So saying, the stranger backed along with me into the
parlour, and put me behind him in the corner, so that
we were both hidden by the open door. I was very un-
easy and alarmed, as you may fancy, and it rather added
to my fears to observe that the stranger was certainly
frightened himself. He cleared the hilt of his cutlass
and loosened the blade in the sheath ; and all the time
we were waiting there he kept swallowing as if he felt
what we used to call a lump in the throat.
At last in strode the captain, slammed the door behind
him, without looking to the right or left, and marched
straight across the room to where his breakfast awaited
"Bill," said the stranger, in a voice that I thought he
had tried to make bold and big.
The captain spun round on his heel and fronted us;
all the brown had gone out of his face, and even his
nose was blue ; he had the look of a man who sees a
ghost, or the evil one, or something worse, if anything
can be; and, upon my word, I felt sorry to see him, all
in a moment, turn so old and sick.
"Come, Bill, you know me; you know an old ship-
mate, Bill, surely," said the stranger.
The captain made a sort of gasp.
"Black Dog!" said he.
"And who else?" returned the other, getting more
at his ease. " Black Dog as ever was, come for to see
his old shipmate Billy, at the ' Admiral Benbow ' inn.
Ah, Bill, Bill, we have seen a sight of times, us two,
since 1 lost them two talons," holding up his mutilated
" Now f , look here," said the captain ; "you've run me
down ; here I am; well, then, speak up: what is it ? "
"That's you, Bill," returned Black Dog, " you're in
the right of it, Billy. I'll have a glass of rum from this
dear child here, as I've took such a liking to; and we'll
sit down, if you please, and talk square, like old ship-
BLACK DOG APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS
When I returned with the rum, they were already
seated on either side of the captain's breakfast-table —
Black Dog next to the door, and sitting sideways, so as
to have one eye on his old shipmate, and one, as I
thought, on his retreat
He bade me go, and leave the door wide open, "None
of your keyholes for me, sonny," he said ; and I left them
together, and retired into the bar.
For a long time, though I certainly did my best to
listen, I could hear nothing but a low gabbling; but at
last the voices began to grow higher, and I could pick
up a word or two, mostly oaths, from the captain.
"No, no, no, no; and an end of it! " he cried once.
And again, " If it comes to swinging, swing all, say I."
Then all of a sudden there was a tremendous explo-
sion of oaths and other noises — the chair and table went
over in a lump, a clash of steel followed, and then a cry
of pain, and the next instant I saw Black Dog in full
flight, and the captain hotly pursuing, both with drawn
cutlasses, and the former streaming blood from the left
shoulder. Just at the door, the captain aimed at the
fugitive one last tremendous cut, which would certainly
have split him to the chine had it not been intercepted
by our big signboard of Admiral Benbow. You may
see the notch on the lower side of the frame to this day.
That blow was the last of the battle. Once out upon
the road, Black Dog, in spite of his wound, showed a
wonderful clean pair of heels, and disappeared over the
edge of the hill in half a minute. The captain, for his
part, stood staring at the signboard like a bewildered
man. Then he passed his hand over his eyes several
times, and at last turned back into the house.
"Jim," says he, " rum; " and as he spoke, he reeled
a little, and caught himself with one hand against the
" Are you hurt ? " cried I.
" Rum," he repeated. fl I must get away from here.
I ran to fetch it ; but I was quite unsteadied by all that
had fallen out, and I broke one glass and fouled the tap,
and while I was still getting in my own way, I heard a
loud fall in the parlour, and, running in, beheld the cap-
tain lying full length upon the floor. At the same in-
stant my mother, alarmed by the cries and fighting,
came running down-stairs to help me. Between us
we raised his head. He was breathing very loud and
hard ; but his eyes were closed, and his face a horrible
"Dear, deary me," cried my mother, "what a dis-
grace upon the house! And your poor father sick! M
In the meantime, we had no idea what to do to help
the captain, nor any other thought but that he had got
his death-hurt in the scuffle with the stranger. I got
the rum, to be sure, and tried to put it down his throat ;
but his teeth were tightly shut, and his jaws as strong
as iron. It was a happy relief for us when the door
opened and Doctor Livesey came in, on his visit to my
"Oh, doctor," we cried, "what shall we do?
Where is he wounded ? "
" Wounded ? A fiddle-stick's end ! " said the doctor.
"No more wounded than you or I. The man has had
a stroke, as I warned him. Now, Mrs. Hawkins, just
you run up-stairs to your husband, and tell him, if pos-
BLACK DOG APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS
sible, nothing about it. For my part, I must do my
best to save this fellow's trebly worthless life; and Jim,
you get me a basin.' '
When I got back with the basin, the doctor had al-
ready ripped up the captain's sleeve, and exposed his
great sinewy arm. It was tattooed in several places.
"Here's luck," " A fair wind," and "Billy Bones his
fancy," were very neatly and clearly executed on the
forearm ; and up near the shoulder there was a sketch
of a gallows and a man hanging from it — done, as I
thought, with great spirit.
"Prophetic," said the doctor, touching this picture
with his finger. " And now, Master Billy Bones, if that
be your name, we'll have a look at the colour of your
blood. Jim," he said, "are you afraid of blood?"
"No, sir," said I.
"Well, then," said he, "you hold the basin;" and
with that he took his lancet and opened a vein.
A great deal of blood was taken before the captain
opened his eyes and looked mistily about him. First he
recognised the doctor with an unmistakable frown;
then his glance fell upon me, and he looked relieved.
But suddenly his colour changed, and he tried to raise
himself, crying: —
"Where's Black Dog?"
" There is no Black Dog here," said the doctor, "ex-
cept what you have on your own back. You have been
drinking rum ; you have had a stroke, precisely as I told
you; and I have just, very much against my own will,
dragged you headforemost out of the grave. Now, Mr.
"That's not my name," he interrupted.
"Much I care," returned the doctor. "It's the name
of a buccaneer of my acquaintance ; and I call you by it
for the sake of shortness, and what I have to say to you
is this : one glass of rum won't kill you, but if you take
one you'll take another and another, and I stake my wig
if you don't break off short, you'll die — do you under-
stand that? — die, and go to your own place, like the
man in the Bible. Come, now, make an effort. I'll help
you to your bed for once."
Between us, with much trouble, we managed to hoist
him up-stairs, and laid him on his bed, where his head
fell back on the pillow, as if he were almost fainting.
"Now, mind you," said the doctor, " I clear my con-
science — the name of rum for you is death."
And with that he went off to see my father, taking
me with him by the arm.
"This is nothing," he said, as soon as he had closed
the door. " I have drawn blood enough to keep him
quiet awhile; he should lie for a week where he is —
that is the best thing for him and you; but another
stroke would settle him."
THE BLACK SPOT
About noon I stopped at the captain's door wiA some
cooBng drinks and medicines. He was lying very much
as we had left him, only a little higher, and he seemed
both weak and excited.
"Jim," he said, "you're the only one here that's worth
anything; and you know I've been always good to you.
Never a month but I've given you a silver fourpenny for
yourself! And now you see, mate, Fm pretty low, and
deserted by all ; and Jim, you'll bring me one noggin of
rum, now, won't you, matey ? "
" The doctor " I began.
But he broke in cursing the doctor, in a feeble voice,
but heartily. "Doctors is all swabs," he said; "and
that doctor there, why, what do he know about seafaring
men ? I been in places hot as pitch, and mates dropping
round with Yellow Jack, and the blessed land a-heaving
like the sea with earthquakes — what do the doctor
know of lands like that ? — and I lived on ram, I tell you.
It's been meat and drink, and man and wife, to me; and
if I'm not to have my rum now Fm a poor old hulk on v
a lee shore, my blood 'II be on you, Jim, and that Doctor
swab;" and he ran on again for a while with curses.
"Look, Jim, how my fingers fidges," he continued, in
the pleading tone. "I can't keep 'em still, not I. I
haven't had a drop this blessed day. That doctor's a
fool, I tell you. If I don't have a drain o' rum, Jim, I'll
have the horrors ; I seen some on 'em already. I seen
old Flint in the corner there, behind you; as plain as
print, I seen him ; and if I get the horrors, I'm a man
that has lived rough, and I'll raise Cain. Your doctor
hisself said one glass wouldn't hurt me. I'll give you
a golden guinea for a noggin, Jim."
Ijle was growing more and more excited, and this
alarmed me for my father, who was very low that day,
and needed quiet ; besides, I was reassured by the doc-
tor's words, now quoted to me, and rather offended by
the offer of a bribe.
"I want none of your money," said I, "but what you
owe my father. I'll get you one glass, and no more."
When I brought it to him, he seized it greedily, and
drank it out.
"Ay, ay," said he, " that's some better, sure enough.
And now, matey, did that doctor say how long I was
to lie here in this old berth ? "
U A week at least," said I.
" Thunder!" he cried. "A week! I can't do that;
they'd have the black spot on me by then. The lubbers
is going about to get the wind of me this blessed mo-
ment ; lubbers as couldn't keep what they got, and want
to nail what is another's. Is that seamanly behaviour,
now, 1 want to know ? But I'm a saving soul. I never
wasted good money of mine, nor lost it neither; and I'll
trick 'em again. I'm not afraid on 'em. I'll shake out
another reef, matey, and daddle 'em again."
As he was thus speaking, he had risen from bed with
THE BLACK SPOT
great difficulty, holding to my shoulder with a grip that
almost made me cry out, and moving his legs like so
much dead weight. His words, spirited as they were
in meaning, contrasted sadly with the weakness of the
voice in which they were uttered. He paused when he
had got into a sitting position on the edge.
"That doctor's done me," he murmured. " My ears
is singing. Lay me back."
Before I could do much to help him he had fallen back
again to his former place, where he lay for a while silent.
"Jim/' he said, at length, "you saw that seafaring
"Black Dog?" I asked.
"Ah! Black Dog," says he. "He's a bad 'un; but
there's worse that put him on. Now, if I can't get
away nohow, and they tip me the black spot, mind
you, it's my old sea-chest they're after; you get on a.
horse — you can, can't you? Well, then, you get on
a horse, and go to — well, yes, I will! — to that eternal
Doctor swab, and tell him to pipe all hands — magis-
trates and sich — and he'll lay 'em aboard at the ' Admi-
ral Benbow' — all old Flint's crew, man and boy, all on
'em that's left. I was first mate, I was, old Flint's first
mate, and I'm the on'y one as knows the place. He gave
it me at Savannah, when he lay a-dying, like as if I was to
now, you see. But you won't peach unless they get the
black spot on me, or unless you see that Black Dog again,
or a seafaring man with one leg, Jim — him above all."
" But what is the black spot, Captain ?" I asked.
"That's a summons, mate. I'll tell you if they get
that. But you keep your weather-eye open, Jim, and
111 share with you equals, upon my honour."
He wandered a little longer, his voice growing weaker;
but soon after I had given him his medicine, which he
took like a child, with the remark, "If ever a seaman
wanted drugs, it's me," he fell at last into a heavy,
swoon-like sleep, in which I left him. What I should
have done had all gone well I do not know. Probably
I should have told the whole story to the doctor; for I
was in mortal fear lest the captain should repent of his
confessions and make an end of me. But as things fell
out, my poor father died quite suddenly that evening,
which put all other matters on one side. Our natural
distress, the visits of the neighbours, the arranging of
the funeral, and all the work of the inn to be carried on
in the meanwhile, kept me so busy that I had scarcely
time to think of the captain, far less to be afraid of him.
He got down-stairs next morning, to be sure, and had
his meals as usual, though he ate little, and had more,
I am afraid, than his usual supply of rum, for he helped
himself out of the bar, scowling and blowing through
his nose, and no one dared to cross him. On the night
before the funeral he was as drunk as ever; and it was
shocking, in that house of mourning, to hear him sing-
ing away at his ugly old sea-song; but, weak as he was,
we were all in the fear of death for him, and the doctor
was suddenly taken up with a case many miles away,
and was never near the house after my father's death.
I have said the captain was weak; and indeed he seemed
rather to grow weaker than regain his strength. He
clambered up and down-stairs, and went from the par-
lour to the bar and back again, and sometimes put his
nose out of doors to smell the sea, holding on to the
walls as he went for support, and breathing hard and
THE BLACK SPOT
fast like a man on a steep mountain. He never partic-
ularly addressed me, and it is my belief he had as good
as forgotten his confidences; but his temper was more
flighty, and, allowing for his bodily weakness, more
violent than ever. He had an alarming way now when
he was drunk of drawing his cutlass and laying it bare
before him on the table. But, with all that, he minded
people less, and seemed shut up in his own thoughts
and rather wandering. Once, for instance, to our ex-
treme wonder, he piped up to a different air, a kind of
country love-song, that he must have learned in his
youth before he had begun to follow the sea.
So things passed until, the day after the funeral, and
about three o'clock of a bitter, foggy, frosty afternoon,
I was standing at the door for a moment, full of sad
thoughts about my father, when I saw some one draw-
ing slowly near along the road. He was plainly blind,
for he tapped before him with a stick, and wore a great
green shade over his eyes and nose ; and he was hunched,
as if with age or weakness, and wore a huge old tattered
sea-cloak with a hood, that made him appear positively
deformed. I never saw in my life a more dreadful look-
ing figure. He stopped a little from the inn, and, rais-
ing his voice in an odd sing-song, addressed the air in
front of him : —
"Will any kind friend inform a poor blind man, who
has lost the precious sight of his eyes in the gracious de-
fence of his native country, England, and God bless King
George! — where or in what part of this country he may
now be ? "
" You are at the 'Admiral Benbow/ Black Hil! Cove,
my good man," said I.
" I hear a voice/* said he — "a young voice. Will
you give me your hand, my kind young friend, and lead
I held out my hand, and the horrible, soft-spoken,
eyeless creature gripped it in a moment like a vice. I
was so much startled that I struggled to withdraw; but
the blind man pulled me close up to him with a single
action of his arm.
"Now, boy/' he said, "take me in to the captain."
"Sir," said I, "upon my word I dare not."
"Oh," he sneered, "that's it! Take me in straight,
^r I'll break your arm."
And he gave it, as he spoke, a wrench that made me
"Sir." said I, "it is for yourself I mean. The captain
is not what he used to be. He sits with a drawn cut-
Jass. Another gentleman "
"Come, now, march," interrupted he; and 1 never
heard a voice so cruel, and cold, and ugly as that blind
man's. It cowed me more than the pain ; and I began
to obey him at once, walking straight in at the door and
towards the parlour, where our sick old buccaneer was
sitting, dazed with rum. The blind man clung close to
me, holding me in one iron fist, and leaning almost
more of his weight on me than I could carry. "Lead
me straight up to him, and when I'm in view, cry out,
6 Here's a friend for you, Bill.' If you don't, 111 do this ; "
and with that he gave me a twitch that I thought would
have made me faint. Between this and that, I was so
utterly terrified of the blind beggar that I forgot my ter-
ror of the captain, and as I opened the parlour door,
cried out the words he had ordered in a trembling voice.
THE BLACK SPOT
The poor captain raised his eyes, and at one look the
rum went out of him, and left him staring sober. The
expression of his face was not so much of terror as of
mortal sickness. He made a movement to rise, but I do
not believe he had enough force left in his body.
" Now, Bill, sit where you are," said the beggar. "If
I can't see, I can hear a finger stirring. Business is busi-
ness. Hold out your left hand. Boy, take his left hand
by the wrist, and bring it near to my right/'
We both obeyed him to the letter, and I saw him pass
something from the hollow of the hand that held his
stick into the palm of the captain's, which closed upon
" And now that's done," said the blind man; and at
the words he suddenly left hold of me, and with incredi-
ble accuracy and nimbleness, skipped out of the parlour
and into the road, where, as I still stood motionless, I
could hear his stick go tap-tap-tapping into the dis-
It was some time before either I or the captain seemed
to gather our senses; but at length, and about at the
same moment, I released his wrist, which I was still
holding, and he drew in his hand and looked sharply
into the palm.
"Ten o'clock!" he cried. "Six hours. We'll do
them yet ; " and he sprang to his feet.
Even as he did so, he reeled, put his hand to his throat,
stood swaying for a moment, and then, with a peculiar
sound, fell from his whole height face foremost to the
I ran to him at once, calling to my mother. But
haste was all in vain. The captain had been struck
dead by thundering apoplexy. It is a curious thing to
understand, for I had certainly never liked the man,
though of late I had begun to pity him, but as soon as
I saw that he was dead, I burst into a flood of tears. It
was the second death I had known, and the sorrow of
the first was still fresh in mv heart.
I lost no time, of course, in telling my mother all that
I knew, and perhaps should have told her long before,
and we saw ourselves at once in a difficult and danger-
ous position. Some of the man's money — if he had
any — was certainly due to us; but it was not likely
that our captain's shipmates, above all the two speci-
mens seen by me, Black Dog and the blind beggar,
would be inclined to give up their booty in payment of
the dead man's debts. The captain's order to mount
at once and ride for Doctor Livesey would have left my
mother alone and unprotected, which was not to be
thought of. Indeed, it seemed impossible for either of
us to remain much longer in the house : the fall of coals
in the kitchen grate, the very ticking of the clock, filled
us with alarms. The neighbourhood, to our ears,
seemed haunted by approaching footsteps; and what
between the dead body of the captain on the parlour
floor, and the thought of that detestable blind beggar
hovering near at hand, and ready to return, there were
moments when, as the saying goes, I jumped in my
skin for terror. Something must speedily be resolved
upon ; and it occurred to us at last to go forth together
and seek help in the neighbouring hamlet. No sooner
said than done. Bare-headed as we were, we ran out
at once in the gathering evening and the frosty fog.
The hamlet lay not many hundred yards away though
out of view, on the other side of the next cove; and
what greatly encouraged me, it was in an opposite
direction from that whence the blind man had made his
appearance, and whither he had presumably returned.
We were not many minutes on the road, though we
sometimes stopped to lay hold of each other and hearken.
But there was no unusual sound — nothing but the low
wash of the ripple and the croaking of the inmates of
It was already candle-light when we reached the ham-
let, and I shall never forget how much I was cheered to see
the yellow shine in doors and windows; but that, as it
proved, was the best of the help we were likely to get in
that quarter. For — you would have thought men would
have been ashamed of themselves — no soul would con-
sent to return with us to the " Admiral Benbow." The
more we told of our troubles, the more — man, woman,
and child — they clung to the shelter of their houses.
The name of Captain Flint, though it was strange to me,
was well enough known to some there, and carried a
great weight of terror. Some of the men who had been
to field-work on the far side of the "Admiral Benbow "
remembered, besides, to have seen several strangers on
the road, and, taking them to be smugglers, to have
bolted away; and one at least had seen a little lugger in
what we called Kitt's Hole. For that matter, any one
who was a comrade of the captain's was enough to
frighten them to death. And the short and the long of
the matter was, that while we could get several who
were willing enough to ride to Dr. Livesey's, which lay
in another direction, not one would help us to defend
They say cowardice is infectious; but then argument
is, on the other hand, a great emboldener; and so when
each had said his say, my mother made them a speech,
She would not, she declared, lose money that belonged
to her fatherless boy ; "if none of the rest of you dare,"
she said, "Jim and I dare. Back we will go, the way
we came, and small thanks to you big, hulking, chicken-
hearted men. We'll have that chest open, if we diefo!
it. And I'll thank you for that bag, Mrs, Crossley, to
bring back our lawful money in."
Of course, I said I would go with my mother; and of
course they all cried out at our foolhardiness ; but ever*
then not a man would go along with us. All they would
do was to give me a loaded pistol, lest we were attacked ;
and to promise to have horses ready saddled, in case
we were pursued on our return ; while o^ie lad was to
ride forward to the doctor's in search of armed assist-
My heart was beating finely when we two set forth
in the cold night upon this dangerous venture. A full
moon was beginning to rise and peered redly through
the upper edges of the fog, and this increased our haste,
for it was plain, before we came forth again, that all
would be as bright as day, and our departure exposed to
the eyes of any watchers. We slipped along the hedges,
noiseless and swift, nor did we see or hear anything to
increase our terrors, till, to our relief, the door of the
" Admiral Benbow " had closed behind us.
I slipped the bolt at once, and we stood and panted
for a moment in the dark, alone in the house with the
dead captain's body. Then my mother got a candle in
the bar, and, holding each other's hands, we advanced
into the parlour. He lay as we had left him, on his
back, with his eyes open, and one arm stretched out.
" Draw down the blind, Jim," whispered my mother;
"they might come and watch outside. And now/'
said she, when 1 had done so, " we have to get the key
off that; and who's to touch it, I should like to know!"
and she gave a kind of sob as she said the words.
I went down on my knees at once. On the floor
close to his hand there was a little round of paper,
blackened on the one side. I could not doubt that this
was the black spot ; and taking it up, I found written
on the other side, in a very good, clear hand, this short
message: "You have till ten to-night."
"He had till ten, mother," said I; and just as I said
it, our old clock began striking. This sudden noise
startled us shockingly; but the news was good, for it
was only six.
"Now, Jim," she said, "that key."
I felt in his pockets, one after another. A few small
coins, a thimble, and some thread and big needles, a
piece of pigtail tobacco bitten away at the end, his gully
with the crooked handle, a pocket compass, and a tin-
der-box, were all that they contained, and I began to
" Perhaps it's round his neck," suggested my mother.
Overcoming a strong repugnance, I tore open his shirt
at the neck, and there, sure enough, hanging to a bit
of tarry string, which I cut with his own gully, we
found the key. At this triumph we were filled with
hope, and hurried up-stairs, without delay, to the little
room where he had slept so long, and where his box
had stood since the day of his arrival.
It was like any other seaman's chest on the outside,
the initial "B." burned on the top of it with a hot iron,
and the corners somewhat smashed and broken as by
long, rough usage.
" Give me the key/' said my mother; and though the
lock was very stiff, she had turned it and thrown back
the lid in a twinkling.
A strong smell of tobacco and tar rose from the inte-
rior, but nothing was to be seen on the top except a
suit of very good clothes, carefully brushed and folded.
They had never been worn, my mother said. Under
that, the miscellany began — a quadrant, a tin canikin,
several sticks of tobacco, two brace of very handsome
pistols, a piece of bar silver, an old Spanish watch and
some other trinkets of little value and mostly of foreign
make, a pair of compasses mounted with brass, and five
or six curious West Indian shells. I have often won-
dered since why he should have carried about these
shells with him in his wandering, guilty, and hunted
In the meantime, we had found nothing of any value
but the silver and the trinkets, and neither of these were
in our way. Underneath there was an old boat-cloak,
whitened with sea-salt on many a harbour-bar. My
mother pulled it up with impatience, and there lay be-
fore us, the last things in the chest, a bundle tied up in
oilcloth, and looking like papers, and a canvas bag, that
gave forth, at a touch, the jingle of gold.
"Til show these rogues that I'm an honest woman,"
said my mother. "-I'll have my dues, and not a farthing
over. Hold Mrs. Crossley's bag." And she began to
count over the amount of the captain's score from the
sailor's bag into the one that 1 was holding.
It was a long, difficult business, for the coins were of
all countries and sizes -^doubloons, and louis-d'ors, and
guineas, and pieces of eight, and I know not w r hat be-
sides, all shaken together at random. The guineas,
too, were about the scarcest, and it was with these only
that my mother knew how to make her count
When we were about half way through, I suddenly
put my hand upon her arm ; for I had heard in the silent,
frosty air, a sound that brought my heart into my mouth
— the tap-tapping of the blind man's stick upon the
frozen road. It drew nearer and nearer, while we sat
holding our breath. Then it struck sharp on the inn
door, and then we could hear the handle being turned,
and the bolt rattling as the wretched being tried to en-
ter; and then there was a long time of silence both
within and without. At last the tapping re-commenced,
and, to our indescribable joy and gratitude, died slowly
away again until it ceased to be heard.
"Mother/' said I, "take the whole and let's be go-
ing; " for I was sure the bolted door must have seemed
suspicious, and would bring the whole hornet's nest
about our ears; though how thankful I was that I had
bolted it, none could tell who had never met that terrible
But my mother, frightened as she was, would not con-
sent to take a fraction more than was due to her, and
was obstinately unwilling to be content with less. It
was not yet seven, she said, by a long way; she knew
her rights ^nd she would have them ; and she was still
arguing with me, when a little low whistle sounded a
good way off upon the hill. That was enough, and
more than enough, for both of us.
" I'll take what I have, " she said, jumping to her feet.
"And I'll take this to square the count/' said I, pick-
ing up the oilskin packet
Next moment we were both groping down-stairs,
leaving the candle by the empty chest; and the next we
had opened the door and were in full retreat. We had
not started a moment too soon. The fog was rapidly
dispersing; already the moon shone quite clear on the
high ground on either side; and it was only in the ex-
act bottom of the dell and round the tavern door that a
thin veil still hung unbroken to conceal the first steps
of our escape. Far less than half-way to the hamlet,
very little beyond the bottom of the hill, we must come
forth into the moonlight. Nor was this all; for the
sound of several footsteps running came already to our
ears, and as we looked back in their direction, a light
tossing to and fro and still rapidly advancing, showed
that one of the new-comers carried a lantern.
"My dear," said my mother suddenly, "take the
money and run on. I am going to faint."
This was certainly the end for both of us, I thought.
How I cursed the cowardice of the neighbours ; how I
blamed my poor mother for her honesty and her greed,
for her past foolhardiness and present weakness ! We
were just at the little bridge, by good fortune; and I
helped her, tottering as she was, to the edge of the
bank, where, sure enough^ she gave a sigh and fell on
my shoulder. I do not know how I found the strength
to do it at all, and I am afraid it was roughly done ; but
I managed to drag her down the bank and a little way
under the arch. Farther I could not move her, for the
bridge was too low to let me do more than crawl below
it. So there we had to stay — my mother almost entirely
exposed, and both of us within earshot of the inn.
THE LAST OF THE BLIND MAN
My curiosity, in a sense, was stronger than my fear;
for I could not remain where I was, but crept back to
the bank again, whence, sheltering my head behind a
bush of broom, I might command the road before our
door. I was scarcely in position ere my enemies began
to arrive, seven or eight of them, running hard, their
feet beating out of time along the road, and the man
with the lantern some paces in front. Three men ran
together, hand in hand ; and I made out, even through
the mist, that the middle man of this trio was the blind
beggar. The next moment his voice showed me that
I was right
" Down with the door ! " he cried.
"Ay, ay, sir!" answered two or three; and a rush
was made upon the "Admiral Benbow," the lantern-
bearer following ; and then I could see them pause, and
hear speeches passed in a lower key, as if they were
surprised to find the door open. But the pause was
brief, for the blind man again issued his commands.
His voice sounded louder and higher, as if he were afire
with eagerness and rage.
"In, in, in!" he shouted, and curse'd them for their
Four or five of them obeyed at once, two remaining
on the road with the formidable beggar. There was a
pause, then a cry of surprise, and then a voice shouting
from the house: —
But the blind man swore at them again for their delay,
"Search him, some of you shirking lubbers, and the
rest of you aloft and get the chest," he cried.
1 cou!d hear their feet rattling up our old stairs, so
that the house must have shook with it. Promptly
afterwards, fresh sounds of astonishment arose; the win-
dow of the captain's room was thrown open with a
slam and a jingle of broken glass ; and a man leaned out
into the moonlight, head and shoulders, and addressed
the blind beggar on the road below him.
"Pew," he cried, "they've been before us. Some
one's turned the chest out alow and aloft"
" Is it there ? " roared Pew.
"The money's there."
The blind man cursed the money.
"Flint's fist, I mean," he cried.
" We don't see it here nohow," returned the man.
"Here, you below there, is it on Bill?" cried the
blind man again.
At that, another fellow, probably he who had remained
below to search the captain's body, came to the door
of the inn. "Bill's been overhauled a'ready," said he,
" It's these people of the inn — it's that boy. I wish
I had put his eyes out!" cried the blind man, Pew.
"They were here no time ago — they had the door
bolted when I tried it. Scatter, lads, and find 'em/*
THE LAST OF THE BLIND MAN
" Sure enough, they left their glim here/' said the fel-
low from the window.
" Scatter and find 'em ! Rout the house out! " reiter-
ated Pew, striking with his stick upon the road.
Then there followed a great to-do through all our old
inn, heavy feet pounding to and fro, furniture thrown
over, doors kicked in, until the very rocks re-echoed,
and the men came out again, one after another, on the
road, and declared that we were nowhere to be found.
And just then the same whistle that had alarmed my
mother and myself over the dead captain's money was
once more clearly audible through the night, but this
time twice repeated. I had thought it to be the blind
man's trumpet, so to speak, summoning his crew to the
assault; but I now found that it was a signal from the
hillside towards the hamlet, and, from its effect upon
the buccaneers, a signal to warn them of approaching
"There's Dirk again," said one. "Twice! We'll
have to budge, mates."
" Budge, you skulk! " cried Pew. " Dirk was a fool
and a coward from the first — you wouldn't mind him.
They must be close by; they can't be far; you have your
hands on it. Scatter and look for them, dogs !• Oh ? ^
shiver my soul," he cried, " if I had eyes! "
This appeal seemed to produce some effect, for two
of the fellows began to look here and there among the
lumber, but half-heartedly, I thought, and with half an
eye to their own danger all the time, while the rest stood
irresolute on the road.
"You have your hands on thousands, you fools, and
you hang a leg! You'd be as rich as kings if you could
find it, and you know it's here, and you stand there
skulking. There wasn't one of you dared face Bill, and
I did it — a blind man ! And I'm to lose my chance for you !
I'm to be a poor, crawling beggar, sponging for rum,
when I might be rolling in a coach ! If you had the pluck
of a weevil in a biscuit you would catch them still."
" Hang it, Pew, we've got the doubloons! " grumbled
"They might have hid the blessed thing, " said an-
other. "Take the Georges, Pew, and don't stand here
Squalling was the word for it, Pew's anger rose so
high at these objections; till at last, his passion com-
pletely taking the upper hand, he struck at them right
and left in his blindness, and his stick sounded heavily
on more than one.
These, in their turn, cursed back at the blind mis-
creant, threatened him in horrid terms, and tried in vain
to catch the stick and wrest it from his grasp.
This quarrel was the saving of us ; for while it was
still raging, another sound came from the top of the hill
on the side of the hamlet — the tramp of horses gallop-
ing. Almost at the same time a pistol-shot, flash and
report, came from the hedge side. And that was plainly
the last signal of danger; for the buccaneers turned at
once and ran, separating in every direction, one seaward
along the cove, one slant across the hill, and so on, so
that in half a minute not a sign of them remained but
Pew. Him they had deserted, whether in sheer panic
or out of revenge for his ill words and blows, I know
not; but there he remained behind, tapping up and down
the road in a frenzy, and groping and calling for his
THE LAST OF THE BLIND MAN
comrades. Finally he took the wrong turn, and ran a
few steps past me, towards the hamlet, crying : —
" Johnny, Black Dog, Dirk," and other names, "you
won't leave old Pew, mates — not old Pew! "
Just then the noise of horses topped the rise, and four
or five riders came in sight in the moonlight, and swept
at full gallop down the slope.
At this Pew saw his error, turned with a scream, and
ran straight for the ditch, into which he rolled. But he
was on his feet again in a second, and made another
dash, now utterly bewildered, right under the nearest
of the coming horses.
The rider tried to save him, but in vain. Down went
Pew with a cry that rang high into the night; and the
four hoofs trampled and spurned him and passed by.
He fell on his side, then gently collapsed upon his face,
and moved no more.
1 leaped to my feet and hailed the riders. They were
pulling up, at any rate, horrified at the accident; and I
soon saw what they were. One, tailing out behind the
rest, was a lad that had gone from the hamlet to Dr.
Livesey's; the rest were revenue officers, whom he had
met by the way, and with whom he had had the intel-
ligence to return at once. Some news of the lugger in
Kitt's Hole had found its way to Supervisor Dance, and
set him forth that night in our direction, and to that cir-
cumstance my mother and I owed our preservation from
Pew was dead, stone dead. As for my mother, when
we had carried her up to the hamlet, a little cold water
and salts and that soon brought her back again, and she
Was none the worse for her terror, though she still con-
tinned to deplore the balance of the money. In the mean-
time the supervisor rode on, as fast as he could, to Kitt's
Hole; but his men had to dismount and grope down the
dingle, leading, and sometimes supporting, their horses,
and in continual fear of ambushes ; so it was no great
matter for surprise that when they got down to the Hole
the lugger was already under way, though still close in.
He hailed her. A voice replied, telling him to keep out
of the moonlight, or he would get some lead in him, and
at the same time a bullet whistled close by his arm.
Soon after, the lugger doubled the point and disap-
peared. Mr. Dance stood there, as he said, " like a fish
out of water. " and all he could do was to despatch a man
to B to warn the cutter. "And that," said he, "is
just about as good as nothing. They've got off clean,
and there's an end. Only," he added, " I'm glad I trod
on Master Pew's corns; " for by this time he had heard
I went back with him to the "Admiral Benbow," and
you cannot imagine a house in such a state of smash ;
the very clock had bpen thrown down by these fellows
in their furious hunt after my mother and myself; and
though nothing had actually been taken away except the
captain "s money-bag and a little silver from the till, I
could see at once that we were ruined. Mr. Dance
could make nothing of the scene.
"They got the money, you say ? Well, then, Haw-
kins, what in fortune .were they after ? More money, 1
" No, sir; not money, I think," replied I. "In fact,
sir, I believe I have the thing in my breast-pocket ; and,
to tell you the truth, I should like to get it put in safety/*
THE LAST OF THE BLIND MAN
" To be sure, boy; quite right," said he. " I'll take
it, if you like."
"I thought, perhaps, Dr. Livesey " I began.
" Perfectly right," he interrupted, very cheerily, "per-
fectly right — a gentleman and a magistrate. And, now
I come to think of it, I might as well ride round there
myself and report to him or squire. Master Pew's dead,
when all's done; not that 1 regret it, but he's dead,
you see, and people will make it out against an officer
of his Majesty's revenue, if make it out they can. Now,
I'll tell you, Hawkins: if you like, I'll take you along."
I thanked him heartily for the offer, and we walked
back to the hamlet where the horses were. By the time
I had told mother of my purpose they were all in the
"Dogger," said Mr. Dance, "you have a good horse;
take up this lad behind you."
As soon as I was mounted, holding on to Dogger's
belt, the supervisor gave the word, and the party struck
out at a bouncing trot on the road to Dr. Livesey's
THE CAPTAIN'S PAPERS
We rode hard all the way, till we drew up before
Dr. Livesey's door. The house was all dark to the
Mr. Dance told me to jump down and knock, and
Dogger gave me a stirrup to descend by. The door
was opened almost at once by the maid.
"Is Dr. Livesey in ?" I asked.
No, she said; he had come home in the afternoon,
but had gone up to the Hall to dine and pass the even-
ing with the squire.
" So there we go, boys," said Mr. Dance.
This time, as the distance was short, I dM not mount,
but ran with Dogger's stirrup-leather to the lodge gates,
and up the long, leafless, moonlit avenue to where the
white line of the Hall buildings looked on either hand
on great old gardens. Here Mr. Dance dismounted,
and, taking me along with him, was admitted at a word
into the house.
The servant led us down a matted passage, and showed
us at the end into a great library, all lined with book-
cases and busts upon the top of them, where the squire
and Dr. Livesey sat, pipe in hand, on either side of a
THE CAPTAIN'S PAPERS
I had never seen the squire so near at hand. He was
a tall man, over six feet high, and broad in proportion,
and he had a bluff, rough-and-ready face, all roughened
and reddened and lined in his long travels. His eye-
brows were very black, and moved readily, and this
gave him a look of some temper, not bad, you would
say, but quick and high.
"Come in, Mr. Dance/ ' says he, very stately and con-
" Good evening, Dance," says the doctor, with a nod.
"And good evening to you, friend Jim. What good
wind brings you here ? "
The supervisor stood up straight and stiff, and told
his story like a lesson ; and you should have aeen how
the two gentlemen leaned forward and looked at each
other, and forgot to smoke in their surprise and interest.
When they heard how my mother went back to the
inn, Dr. Livesey fairly slapped his thigh, and the squire
cried "Bravo!" and broke his long pipe against the
grate. Long before it was done, Mr. Trelawney (that,
you will remember, was the squire's name) had got up
from his seat, and was striding about the room, and the
doctor, as if to hear the better, had taken off his pow-
dered wig, and sat there, looking very strange indeed
with his own close-cropped, black poll.
At last Mr. Dance finished the story.
" Mr. Dance," said the squire, "you are a very noble
fellow. And as for riding down that black, atrocious
miscreant, I regard it as an act of virtue, sir, like stamp-
ing on a cockroach. This lad Hawkins is a trump, I
perceive. Hawkins, will you ring that bell ? Mr. Dance
must have some ale."
" And so, Jim," said the doctor, "you have the thing
that they were after, have you ? "
"Here it is, sir/' said I, and gave him the oilskin packet.
The doctor looked it all over, as if his fingers were
itching to open it; but, instead of doing that, he put it
quietly in the pocket of his coat.
"Squire," said he, "when Dance has had his ale he
must, of course, be off on his Majesty's service ; but I
mean to keep Jim Hawkins here to sleep at my house,
and, with your permission, I propose we should have up
the cold pie, and let him sup."
"As you will, Livesey," said the squire; "Hawkins
has earned better than cold pie."
So a big pigeon pie was brought in and put on a side-
table, and I made a hearty supper, for I was as hungry
as a hawk, while Mr. Dance was further complimented,
and at last dismissed.
"And now, squire," said the doctor.
"And now, Livesey," said the squire in the same
" One at a time, one at a time," laughed Dr. Livesey.
" You have heard of this Flint, I suppose ? "
" Heard of him ! " cried the squire. " Heard of him,
you say! He was the bloodthirstiest buccaneer that
sailed. Blackbeard was a child to Flint. The Spaniards
were so prodigiously afraid of him, that, I tell you, sir,
I was sometimes proud he was an Englishman. I've
seen his top-sails with these eyes, off Trinidad, and the
cowardly son of a rum-puncheon that I sailed with put
back — put back, sir, into Port of Spain."
"Well, I've heard of him myself, in England," said
the doctor. " But the point is, had he money ? "
THE CAPTAIN'S PAPERS
" Money! " cried the squire. "Have you heard the
story? What were these villains after but money?
What do they care for but money ? For what would
they risk their rascal carcasses but money ? "
"That we shall soon know," replied the doctor.
" But you are so confoundedly hot-headed and exclama-
tory that I cannot get a word in. What I want to know
is this : Supposing that I have here in my pocket some
clue to where Flint buried his treasure, will that treasure
amount to much ? "
"Amount, sir!" cried the squire. " It will amount
to this : if we have the clue you talk about, I fit out a ship
in Bristol dock, and take you and Hawkins here along,
and I'll have that treasure if I search a year."
"Very well," said the doctor. "Now, then, if Jim
is agreeable, we'll open the packet; " and he laid it be-
fore him on the table.
The bundle was sewn together, and the doctor had to
get out his instrument-case, and cut the stitches with
his medical scissors. It contained two things — a book
and a sealed paper.
" First of all we'll try the book, " observed the doctor.
The squire and I were both peering over his shoulder
as he opened it, for Dr. Livesey had kindly motioned me
to come round from the side-table, where I had been
eating, to enjoy the sport of the search. On the first
page there were only some scraps of writing, such as a
man with a pen in his hand might make for idleness or
practice. One was the same as the tattoo mark, "Billy
Bones his fancy;" then there was "Mr. W. Bones,
mate." "No more rum." " Off Palm Key he got itt ; "
and some other snatches, mostly single words and un-
intelligible. I could not help wondering who it was
that had "got itt," and what "itt" was tiiat he got.
A knife in his back as like as not.
"Not much instruction there/' said Dr. Livesey, as
he passed on.
The next ten or twelve pages were filled with a curi-
ous series of entries. There was a date at one end of
the line and at the other a sum of money, as in common
account-books ; but instead of explanatory writing, only
a varying number of crosses between the two. On the
12th of June, 1745, for instance, a sum of seventy pounds
had plainly become due to some one, and there was
nothing but six crosses to explain the cause. In a few
cases, to be sure, the name of a place would be added,
as "Offe Caraccas;" or a mere entry of latitude and
longitude, as "62 17' 20", 19 2' 40"."
The record lasted over nearly twenty years, the amount
of the separate entries growing larger as time went on,
and at the end a grand total had been made out after
five or six wrong additions, and these words appended,
"Bones, his pile/'
" I can't make head or tail of this," said Dr. Livesey.
"The thing is as clear as noonday," cried the squire.
"This is the black-hearted hound's account-book.
These crosses stand for the names of ships or towns
that they sank or plundered. The sums are the scoun-
drel's share, and where he feared an ambiguity, you see
he added something clearer. ' Offe Caraccas, ' now ; you
see, here was some unhappy vessel boarded off that
coast. God help the poor souls that manned her —
coral long ago."
" Right! " said the doctor. " See what ft is to be a
THE CAPTAIN'S PAPERS
traveller. Right ! And the amounts increase, you see,
as he rose in rank."
There was little else in the volume but a few bearings
of places noted in the blank leaves towards the end,
and a table for reducing French, English, and Spanish
moneys to a common value.
"Thrifty man!" cried the doctor. "He wasn't the
one to be cheated."
"And now," said the squire, "for the other."
The paper had been sealed in several places with a
thimble by way of seal ; the very thimble, perhaps, that I
had found in the captain's pocket. The doctor opened
the seals with great care, and there fell out the map of
an island, with latitude and longitude, soundings, names
of hills, and bays and inlets, and every particular that
would be needed to bring a ship to a safe anchorage
upon its shores. It was about nine miles long and five
across, shaped, you might say, like a fat dragon standing
up, and had two fine land-locked harbours, and a hill in
the centre part marked "The Spy-glass." There were
several additions of a later date; but, above all, three
crosses of red ink — two on the north part of the island,
one in the south-west, and, beside this last, in the same
red ink, and in a small, neat hand, very different from
the captain's tottery characters, these words : — " Bulk
of treasure here. "
Over on the back the same hand had written this
further information : —
"Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to the N. of N.N.E,
" Skeleton Island E.S.E. and by E.
"The bar silver is in the north cache ; you can find it by the trend
of the east hummock, ten fathoms south of the black crag with the face
"The arms are easy found, in the sand hill, N. point of north inlet
cape, bearing E. and a quarter N. "J. F."
That was all; but brief as it was, and, to me, incom-
prehensible, it filled the squire and Dr. Livesey with
"Livesey," said the squire, "you will give up this
wretched practice at once. To-morrow I start for Bristol.
In three weeks' time — three weeks! — two weeks —
ten days — we'll have the best ship, sir, and the choicest
crew in England. Hawkins shall come as cabin-boy*
You'll make a famous cabin-boy, Hawkins. You, Live-
sey, are ship's doctor; I am admiral. We'll take Red-
ruth, Joyce, and Hunter. We'll have favourable winds,
a quick passage, and not the least difficulty in finding
the spot, and money to eat — to roll in — to play duck
and drake with ever after."
" Trelawney," said the doctor. " I'll go with you; and
I'll go bail for it, so will Jim, and be a credit to the
undertaking. There's only one man I'm afraid of."
"And who's that?" cried the squire. "Name the
"You," replied the doctor; "for you cannot hold
your tongue. We are not the only men who know
of this paper. These fellows who attacked the inn
to-night — bold, desperate blades, for sure — and the
rest who stayed aboard that lugger, and more, I dare
say, not far off, are, one and all, through thick and thin,
bound that they'll get that money. We must none
of us go alone till we get to sea. Jim and I shall
stick together in the meanwhile: you'll take Joyce
THE CAPTAIN'S PAPERS
and Hunter when you ride to Bristol, and, from first to
last, not one of us must breathe a word of what we've
"Livesey," returned the squire, "you are always in
the right of it. I'll be as silent as the grave."
THE SEA COOK
I GO TO BRISTOL
IT was longer than the squire imagined ere we were
ready for the sea, and none of our first plans — not
even Dr. Livesey's, of keeping me beside him — could
be carried out as we intended. The doctor had to go to
London for a physician to take charge of his practice ;
the squire was hard at work at Bristol ; and I lived on at
the Hall under the charge of old Redruth, the game-
keeper, almost a prisoner, but full of sea-dreams and the
most charming anticipations of strange islands and ad-
ventures. I brooded by the hour together over the map,
all the details of which I well remembered. Sitting by
the fire in the housekeeper's room, I approached that isl-
and in my fancy, from every possible direction ; I ex-
plored every acre of its surface ; I climbed a thousand
times to that tall hill they call the Spy-glass, and from
the top enjoyed the most wonderful and changing pros-
pects. Sometimes the isle was thick with savages, with
whom we fought; sometimes full of dangerous animals
that hunted us ; but in all my fancies nothing occurred
to me so strange and tragic as our actual adventures.
So the weeks passed on, till one fine day there came
a letter addressed to Dr. Livesey, with this addition,
1 1 To be opened, in the case of his absence, by Tom Red-
ruth, or young Hawkins." Obeying this order, we
found, or rather, I found — for the gamekeeper was a
poor hand at reading anything but print — the following
important news: —
" Old Anchor Inn, Bristol, March i, iy — .
"Dear Livesey, — As I do not know whether you are at the Hall or
still in London, I send this in double to both places.
" The ship is bought and fitted. She lies at anchor, ready for sea.
You never imagined a sweeter schooner — a child might sail her — two
hundred tons; name, Hispaniola.
" 1 got her through my old friend, Blandly, who has proved himself
throughout the most surprising trump. The admirable fellow literally
slaved in my interest, and so, I may say, did every one in Bristol, as
soon as they got wind of the port we sailed for — treasure, I mean."
" Redruth," said I, interrupting the letter, "Doctor
Livesey will not like that. The squire has been talking,
"Well, who's a better right?" growled the game-
keeper. "A pretty rum go if squire ain't to talk for
Doctor Livesey, I should think."
At that I gave up all attempt at commentary, and read
straight on: —
" Blandly himself found the Hispaniola, and by the most admirable
management got her for the merest trifle. There is a class of men in
Bristol monstrously prejudiced against Blandly. They go the length
of declaring that this honest creature would do anything for money,
that the Hispaniola belonged to him, and that he sold it me absurdly
high — the most transparent calumnies. None of them dare, however,
to deny the merits of the ship.
"So far there was not a hitch. The workpeople, to be sure — rig-
gers and what not — were most annoyingly slow; but time cured that,
k was the crew that troubled me.
" I wished a round score of men — in case of natives, buccaneers, or
the odious French — and I had the worry of the deuce itself to find so
I GO TO BRISTOL
much as half a dozen, till the most remarkable stroke of fortune brought
me the very man that I required.
" I was standing on the dock, when, by the merest accident, I fell in
talk with him. 1 found he was an old sailor, kept a public-house,
knew all the seafaring men in Bristol, had lost his health ashore, and
wanted a good berth as cook to get to sea again. He had hobbled
down there that morning, he said, to get a smell of the salt,
" I was monstrously touched — so would you have been — and, out
of pure pity, I engaged him on the spot to be ship's cook. Long John
Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I regarded as a recom-
mendation, since he lost it in his country's service, under the immortal
Hawke. He has no pension, Livesey. Imagine the abominable age
we live in !
" Well, sir, I thought I had only found a cook, but it was a crew I
had discovered. Between Silver and myself we got together in a few
days a company of the toughest old salts imaginable — not pretty to
look at, but fellows, by their faces, of the most indomitable spirit. I
declare we could fight a frigate.
" Long John even got rid of two out of the six or seven I had al-
ready engaged. He showed me in a moment that they were just the
sort of fresh-water swabs we had to fear in an adventure of impor-
" I am in the most magnificent health and spirits, eating like a bull,
sleeping like a tree, yet I shall not enjoy a moment till I hear my old
tarpaulins tramping round the capstan. Seaward ho! Hang the trea-
sure! It's the glory of the sea that has turned my head. So now,
Livesey, come post; do not lose an hour, if you respect me.
" Let young Hawkins go at once to see his mother, with Redruth for
a guard; and then both come full speed to Bristol.
"Postscript. — I did not tell you that Blandly, who, by the way, is
to send a consort after us if we don't turn up by the end of August, had
found an admirable fellow for sailing-master — a stiff man, which I re-
gret, but, in all other respects, a treasure. Long John Silver unearthed
a very competent man for a mate, a man named Arrow. I have a boat-
swain who pipes, Livesey; so things shall go maia-o'-war fashion on
board the good ship Hispaniola.
" I forgot to tell you that Silver is a man of substance; I know of
my own knowledge that he has a banker's account, which has never
been overdrawn. He leaves his wife to manage the inn; and as she is
a woman of colour, a pair of old bachelors like you and I maybe excused
for guessing that it is the wife, quite as much as the health, that sends
him back to roving. " J. T.
" P. P. S. — Hawkins may stay one night with his mother.
a T T )t
You can fancy the excitement into which that letter
put me. I was half beside myself with glee ; and if ever
I despised a man, it was old Tom Redruth, who could
do nothing but grumble and lament. Any of the under-
gamekeepers would gladly have changed places with
him ; but such was not the squire's pleasure, and the
squire's pleasure was like law among them all. Nobody
but old Redruth would have dared so much as even to
The next morning he and I set out on foot for the
4 'Admiral Benbow, ,, and there I found my mother in
good health and spirits. The captain, who had so long
been a cause of so much discomfort, was gone where
the wicked cease from troubling. The squire had had
everything repaired, and the public rooms and the sign
repainted, and had added some furniture — above all a
beautiful arm-chair for mother in the bar. He had found
her a boy as an apprentice also, so that she should not
want help while I was gone.
It was on seeing that boy that I understood, for the
first time, my situation. I had thought up to that mo-
ment of the adventures before me, not at all of the home
that I was leaving; and now, at sight of this clumsy
stranger, who was to stay here in my place beside my
I GO TO BRISTOL
mother, I had my first attack of tears. I am afraid I led
that boy a dog's life ; for as he was new to the work, I
had a hundred opportunities of setting him right and
putting him down, and I was not slow to profit by
The night passed, and the next day, after dinner, Red-
ruth and I were afoot again, and on the road. I said
good-bye to mother and the cove where I had lived since
I was born, and the dear old " Admiral Benbow " — since
he was repainted, no longer quite so dear. One of my
last thoughts was of the captain, who had so often strode
along the beach with his cocked hat, his sabre-cut cheek,
and his old brass telescope. Next moment we had
turned the corner, and my home was out of sight.
The mail picked us up about dusk at the "Royal
George " on the heath. I was wedged in between Red-
ruth and a stout old gentleman, and in spite of the swift
motion and the cold night air, I must have dozed a great
deal from the very first, and then slept like a log up hill
and down dale through stage after stage ; for when I was
awakened, at last, it was by a punch in the ribs, and I
opened my eyes, to find that we were standing still be-
fore a large building in a city street, and that the day had
already broken a long time.
"Where are we ? " I asked.
' ' Bristol, " said Tom. "Get down. "
Mr. Trelawney had taken up his residence at an inn
far down the docks, to superintend the work upon the
schooner. Thither we had now to walk, and our way,
to my great delight, lay along the quays and beside the
great multitude of ships of all sizes and rigs and nations.
In one, sailors were singing at their work; in another,
there were men aloft, high over my head, hanging t®
threads that seemed no thicker than a spider's. Though
I had lived by the shore all my life, I seemed never to
have been near the sea till then. The smeH of tar and
salt was something new. I saw the most wonderful
figureheads, that had all been far over the ocean. I saw,
besides, many old sailors, with rings in their ears, and
whiskers curled in ringlets, and tarry pigtails, and their
swaggering, clumsy sea-walk; and if I had seen as
many kings or archbishops I could not have been more
And I was going to sea myself; to sea in a schooner,
with a piping boatswain, and pig-tailed singing seamen ;
to sea, bound for an unknown island, and to seek for
While I was still in this delightful dream, we came
suddenly in front of a large inn, and met Squire Trelaw-
ney, all dressed out like a sea-officer, in stout blue cloth,
coming out of the door with a smile on his face, and a
capital imitation of a sailor's walk.
"Here you are," he cried, "and the doctor came last
night from London. Bravo ! the ship's company com-
" Oh, sir," cried I, "when do we sail ?"
■ ' Sail ! " says he. " We sail to-morrow t "
AT THE SIGN OF THE " SPY-GLASS "
When I had done breakfasting the squire gave me a
note addressed to John Silver, at the sign of the "Spy-
glass," and told me I should easily find the place by
following the line of the docks, and keeping a bright
look-out for a little tavern with a large brass telescope
for sign. I set off, overjoyed at this opportunity to see
some more of the ships and seamen, and picked my
way among a great crowd of people and carts and bales,
for the dock was now at its busiest, until I found the
tavern in question.
It was a bright enough little place of entertainment.
The sign was newly painted ; the windows had neat red
curtains ; the floor was cleanly sanded. There was a
street on each side, and an open door on both, which
made the large, low room pretty clear to see in, in spite
of clouds of tobacco smoke.
The customers were mostly seafaring men ; and they
talked so loudly that I hung at the door, almost afraid
As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room,
and, at a glance, I was sure he must be Long John.
His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the
left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed
with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a
bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big
as a ham — plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling.
Indeed, he seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling
as he moved about among the tables, with a merry word
or a slap on the shoulder for the more favoured of his
Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first men-
tion of Long John in Squire Trelawney's letter, I had
taken a fear in my mind that he might prove to be the
very one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long
at the old " Benbow." But one look at the man before
me was enough. I had seen the captain, and Black
Dog, and the blind man Pew, and I thought I knew
what a buccaneer was like — a very different creature,
according to me, from this clean and pleasant-tempered
I plucked up courage at once, crossed the threshold,
and walked right up to the man where he stood, propped
on his crutch, talking to a customer. *
"Mr. Silver, sir?" I asked, holding out the note.
"Yes, my lad," said he; "such is my name, to be
sure. And who may you be ? " And then as he saw
the squire's letter, he seemed to me to give something
almost like a start.
"Oh!" said he, quite loud, and offering his hand,
"I see. You are our new cabin-boy; pleased I am to
And he took my hand in his large firm grasp.
Just then one of the customers at the far side rose
suddenly and made for the door. It was close by him,
and he was out in the street in a moment. But his
'OH," I SAID, "STOP HIM! IT'S BLACK DOG!' :
AT THE SIGN OF THE "SPY-GLASS"
hurry had attracted my notice, and I recognised him at a
glance. It was the tallow-faced man, wanting two fin-
gers, who had come first to the ''Admiral Benbow."
"Oh," I cried, "stop him! it's Black Dog!"
"I don't care two coppers who he is," cried Silver.
"But he hasn't paid his score. Harry, run and catch
One of the others who was nearest the door leaped
up, and started in pursuit.
" If he were Admiral Hawke he shall pay his score,"
cried Silver; and then, relinquishing my hand — "Who
did you say he was ? " he asked. " Black what ? "
"Dog, sir," said I. "Has Mr. Trelawney not told
you of the buccaneers ? He was one of them."
"So?" cried Silver. "In my house! Ben, run and
help Harry. One of those swabs, was he ? Was that
you drinking with him, Morgan ? Step up here."
The man whom he called Morgan — an old, grey-
haired, mahogany-faced sailor — came forward pretty
sheepishly, rolling his quid.
"Now, Morgan," said Long John, very sternly; "you
never clapped your eyes on that Black — Black Dog be-
fore, did you, now ?"
"Not I, sir," said Morgan, with a salute.
" You didn't know his name, did you ?"
" By the powers, Tom Morgan, it's as good for you! "
exclaimed the landlord. "If you had been mixed up
with the like of that, you would never have put another
foot in my house, you may lay to that. And what was
he saying to you ? "
"1 don't rightly know, sir," answered Morgan.
"Do you call that a head on your shoulders, or a
blessed dead-eye?" cried Long John. "Don't rightly
know, don't you! Perhaps you don't happen to rightly
know who you was speaking to, perhaps ? Come,
now, what was he jawing — v'yages, cap'ns, ships?
Pipe up ! What was it ? "
"We was a-talkin' of keel-hauling," answered Mor-
"Keel-hauling, was you? and a mighty suitable
thing, too, and you may lay to that. Get back to your
place for a lubber, Tom."
And then, as Morgan rolled back to his seat, Silver
added to me in a confidential whisper, that was very
flattering, as I thought : —
" He's quite an honest man, Tom Morgan, on'y stupid.
And now," he ran on again, aloud, "let's see — Black
Dog ? No, I don't know the name, not I. Yet I kind
of think I've — yes, I've seen the swab. He used to
come here with a blind beggar, he used."
" That he did, you may be sure," said I. "I knew
that blind man, too. His name was Pew."
" It was! " cried Silver, now quite excited. " Pew!
That were his name for certain. Ah, he looked a shark,
he did ! If we run down this Black Dog, now, there'll be
news for Cap'n Trelawney! Ben's a good runner; few
seamen run better than Ben. He should run him down,
hand over hand, by the powers! He talked o' keel-haul-
ing, did he ? Ill keel-haul him ! "
All the time he was jerking out these phrases he was
stumping up and down the tavern on his crutch, slap-
ping tables with his hand, and giving such a show of
excitement as would have convinced an Old Bailey judge
AT THE SIGN OF THE " SPY-GLASS "
or a Bow Street runner. My suspicions had been thor-
oughly re-awakened on finding Black Dog at the "Spy-
glass," and I watched the cook narrowly. But he was
too deep, and too ready, and too clever for me, and by the
time the two men had come back out of breath, and con-
fessed that they had lost the track in a crowd, and been
scolded like thieves, I would have gone bail for the in-
nocence of Long John Silver.
"See here, now, Hawkins/' said he, "here's a blessed
hard thing on a man like me, now, ain't it ? There's
Cap'n Trelawney — what's he to think? Here I have
this confounded son of a Dutchman sitting in my own
house, drinking of my own rum ! Here you comes and
tells me of it plain ; and here I let him give us all the slip
before my blessed dead-lights! Now, Hawkins, you do
me justice with the cap'n. You're a lad, you are, but
you're as smart as paint. I see that when you first came
in. Now, here it is: What could I do, with this old
timber I hobble on ? When I was an A B master mari-
ner I'd have come up alongside of him, hand overhand,
and broached him to in a brace of old shakes, I would ;
but now — -"
And then, all of a sudden, he stopped, and his jaw
dropped as though he had remembered something.
"The score!" he burst out. "Three goes o' rum!
Why, shiver my timbers, if I hadn't forgotten my score ! "
And, falling on a bench, he laughed until the tears
ran down his cheeks. I could not help joining; and we
laughed together, peal after peal, until the tavern rang
"Why, what a precious old sea-calf I am! " he said,
at last, wiping his cheeks. "You and me should get
on well, Hawkins, for I'll take my davy I should be rated
ship's boy. But, come, now, stand by to go about This
won't do. Dooty is dooty, messmates. 1*11 put on my
old cocked hat, and step along of you to Cap'n Trelaw-
ney, and report this here affair. For, mind you, it's se-
rious, young Hawkins ; and neither you nor me's come
out of it with what I should make so bold as to call
credit. Nor you neither, says you; not smart — none
of the pair of us smart. But dash my buttons ! that was
a good 'un about my score."
And he began to laugh again, and that so heartily,
that though I did not see the joke as he did, I was again
obliged to join him in his mirth.
On our little walk along the quays, he made himself
the most interesting companion, telling me about the
different ships that we passed by, their rig, tonnage,
and nationality, explaining the work that was going
forward — how one was discharging, another taking in
cargo, and a third making ready for sea; and every now
and then telling me some little anecdote of ships or sea-
men, or repeating a nautical phrase till I had learned it
perfectly. I began to see that here was one of the best
of possible shipmates.
When we got to the inn, the squire and Dr. Livesey
were seated together, finishing a quart of ale with a toast
in it, before they should go aboard the schooner on a visit
Long John told the story from first to last, with a
great deal of spirit and the most perfect truth. '•* That
was how it were, now, weren't it, Hawkins ? "he would
say, now and again, and I could always bear him entirely
AT THE SIGN OF THE "SPY-GLASS"
The two gentlemen regretted that Black Dog had got
away; but we all agreed there was nothing to be done,
and after he had been complimented, Long John took up
his crutch and departed.
"All hands aboard by four this afternoon," shouted
the squire, after him.
"Ay, ay, sir," cried the cook, in the passage.
"Well, squire," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't put much
faith in your discoveries, as a general thing ; but I will
say this, John Silver suits me."
"The man's a perfect trump," declared the squire,
"And now," added the doctor, "Jim may come on
board with us, may he not ? "
" To be sure he may," says squire. " Take your hat,
Hawkins, and we'll see the ship."
POWDER AND ARMS
The Hhpaniola lay some way out, and we went under
the figureheads and round the sterns of many other ships,
and their cables sometimes grated underneath our keel,
and sometimes swung above us. At last, however, we
got alongside, and were met and saluted as we stepped
aboard by the mate, Mr. Arrow, a brown old sailor, with
earrings in his ears and a squint. He and the squire were
very thick and friendly, but I soon observed that things
were not the same between Mr. Trelawney and the captain.
This last was a sharp-looking man, who seemed an-
gry with everything on board, and was soon to tell us
why, for we had hardly got down into the cabin when
a sailor followed us.
"Captain Smollett, sir, axing to speak with you,"
" I am always at the captain's orders. Show him in,"
said the squire.
The captain, who was close behind his messenger,
entered at once, and shut the door behind him.
11 Well, Captain Smollett, what have you to say ? AH
well, I hope ; all shipshape and seaworthy ? "
"Well, sir," said the captain, "better speak plain, I
believe, even at the risk of offence. I don't like this
POWDER AND ARMS
cruise; I don't like the men; and I don't like my officer.
That's short and sweet."
"Perhaps, sir, you don't like the ship?" inquired the
squire, very angry, as I could see.
"I can't speak as to that, sir, not having seen her
tried," said the captain. "She seems a clever craft;
more I can't say."
"Possibly, sir, you may not like your employer,
either ? " says the squire.
But here Dr. Livesey cut in.
"Stay a bit," said he, "stay a bit. No use of such
questions as that but to produce ill-feeling. The captain
has said too much or he has said too little, and I'm bound
to say that I require an explanation of his words. You
don't, you say, like this cruise. Now, why ? "
" I was engaged, sir, on what we call sealed orders,
to sail this ship for that gentleman where he should bid
me," said the captain. "So far so good. But now I
find that every man before the mast knows more than
I do. I don't call that fair, now, do you ? "
"No," said Dr. Livesey, "I don't."
"Next," said the captain, " I learn we are going after
treasure — hear it from my own hands, mind you. Now,
treasure is ticklish work ; I don't like treasure voyages
on any account; and I don't like them, above all, when
they are secret, and when (begging your pardon, Mr.
Trelawney) the secret has been told to the parrot."
"Silver's parrot?" asked the squire.
" It's a way of speaking, " said the captain. "Blabbed,
I mean. It's my belief neither of you gentlemen know
what you are about; but I'll tell you my way of it —
life or death, and a close run."
"That is all clear, and, I daresay, true enough/' re-
plied Dr. Livesey. " We take the risk; but we are not
so ignorant as you believe us. Next, you say you don't
like the crew. Are they not good seamen ? "
"I don't like them, sir," returned Captain Smollett
"And I think I should have had the choosing of my
own hands, if you go to that."
"Perhaps you should," replied the doctor. "My
friend should, perhaps, have taken you along with him;
but the slight, if there be one, was unintentional. And
you don't like Mr. Arrow ? "
' I don't, sir. I believe he '& a good seaman ; but
lie's too free with the crew to be a good officer. A
mate should keep himself to himself — shouldn't drink
with the men before the mast! "
# Do you mean he drinks ? " cried the squire.
* No, sir," replied the captain; "only that he's too
"Well, now, and the short and long of it, captain ?"
**sked the doctor. "Tell us what you want."
"Well, gentlemen, are you determined to go on this
" Like iron," answered the squire.
"Very good," said the captain. "Then, as you've
heard me very patiently, saying things that I could not
prove, hear me a few words more. They are putting
the powder and the arms in the fore hold. Now, you
have a good place under the cabin; why not put them
there ? — first point. Then you are bringing four of your
own people with you, and they tell me some of them
are to be berthed forward. Why not give them the berths
here beside the cabin ? — second point."
POWDER AND ARMS
"Any more?" asked Mr. Trelawney.
"One more," said the captain. "There's been too>
much blabbing already."
"Far too much," agreed the doctor.
"I'll tell you what I've heard myself," continued Cap-
tain Smollett: "that you have a map of an island; that
there's crosses on the map to show where treasure is;
and that the island lies " And then he named the
latitude and longitude exactly.
" I never told that," cried the squire, " to a soul! "
"The hands know it, sir," returned the captain.
" Livesey, that must have been you or Hawkins, '*
cried the squire.
"It doesn't much matter who it was," replied the
doctor. And I could see that neither he nor the captain
paid much regard to Mr. Trelawney's protestations.
Neither did I, to be sure, he was so loose a talker ; yet
in this case I believe he was really right, and that no-
body had told the situation of the island.
"Well, gentlemen," continued the captain, "I don't
know who has this map; but I make it a point, it shall
be kept secret even from me and Mr. Arrow. Otherwise
I would ask you to let me resign."
" I see," said the doctor. "You wish us to keep this
matter dark, and to make a garrison of the stern part of
the ship, manned with my friend's own people, and
provided with all the arms and powder on board. In
other words, you fear a mutiny."
"Sir," said Captain Smollett, "with no intention to
take offence, I deny your right to put words into my
mouth. No captain, sir, would be justified in going to
sea at all if he had ground enough to say that. As for
Mr. Arrow, I believe him thoroughly honest; some of
the men are the same; all may be for what I know.
But I am responsible for the ship's safety and the life of
every man Jack aboard of her. I see things going, as I
think, not quite right. And I ask you to take certain
precautions, or let me resign my berth. And that's all."
"Captain Smollett," began the doctor, with a smile,
"did ever you hear the fable of the mountain and the
mouse ? You'll excuse me, I dare say, but you remind
me of that fable. When you came in here I'll stake my
wig you meant more than this."
"Doctor," said the captain, "you are smart When
I came in here I meant to get discharged. I had no
thought that Mr. Trelawney would hear a word."
"No more I would," cried the squire. " Had Livesey
not been here I should have seen you to the deuce. As
it is, I have heard you. I will do as you desire; but I
think the worse of you."
"That's as you please, sir," said the captain. " You'll
find I do my duty."
And with that he took his leave.
"Trelawney," said the doctor, "contrary to all my
notions, I believe you have managed to get two honest
men on board with you — that man and John Silver."
"Silver, if you like," cried the squire; "but as for
that intolerable humbug, I declare I think his conduct
unmanly, unsailorly, and downright un-English."
"Well," says the doctor, "we shall see."
When we came on deck, the men had begun already
to take out the arms and powder, yo-ho-ing at their
work, while the captain and Mr. Arrow stood by super-
POWDER AND ARMS
The new arrangement was quite to my liking. The
w r hole schooner had been overhauled; six berths had
been made astern, out of what had been the after-part
of the main hold ; and this set of cabins was only joined
to the galley and forecastle by a sparred passage on the
port side. It had been originally meant that the captain,
Mr. Arrow, Hunter, Joyce, the doctor, and the squire,
were to occupy these six berths. Nov/, Redruth and I
were to get two of them, and Mr. Arrow and the captain
were to sleep on deck in the companion, which had been
enlarged on each side till you might almost have called
it a round-house. Very low it was still, of course; but
there was room to swing two hammocks, and even the
mate seemed pleased with the arrangement. Even he,
perhaps, had been doubtful as xo the crew, but that is
only guess ; for, as you shall hear, we had not long the
benefit of his opinion.
We were all hard at work, changing the powder and
the berths, when the last man or two, and Long John
along with them, came off in a shore-boat.
The cook came up the side like a monkey for clever-
ness, and, as soon as he saw what was doing, " So ho,
mates! " says he, " what's this ?"
" We're a-changing of the powder, Jack," answers
" Why, by the powers," cried Long John, " if we do,
we'll miss the morning tide! "
" My orders! " said the captain shortly. " You may
go below, my man. Hands will want supper."
" Ay, ay, sir," answered the cook; and, touching his
forelock, he disappeared at once in the direction of his
"That's a good man, captain/' said the doctor.
" Very likely, sir," replied Captain Smollett. ''Easy
with that, men — easy," he ran on, to the fellows who
were shifting the powder; and then suddenly observing
me examining the swivel we carried amidships, a long
brass nine — " Here, you ship's boy," he cried, " out o y
that! Off with you to the cook and get some work."
And then as I was hurrying off I heard him say, quite
loudly, to the doctor : —
"I'll have no favourites on my ship."
I assure you I was quite of the squire's way of think-
ing, and hated the captain deeply.
All that night we were in a great bustle getting things
stowed in their place, and boatfuls of the squire's friends,.
Mr. Blandly and the like, coming off to wish him a good
voyage and a safe return. We never had a night at the
"Admiral Benbow ,, when I had half the work; and I
was dog-tired when, a little before dawn, the boatswain
sounded his pipe, and the crew began to man the cap-
stan-bars. I might have been twice as weary, yet 1
would not have left the deck; all was so new and in-
teresting to me — the brief commands, the shrill note of
the whistle, the men bustling to their places in the glim*
mer of the ship's lanterns.
"Now, Barbecue, tip us a stave," cried one voice,
"The old one," cried another.
"Ay, ay, mates," said Long John, who was standing
by, with his crutch under his arm, and at once broke
out in the air and words I knew so well —
" Fifteen men on the dead man's chest" —
And then the whole crew bore chorus: —
" Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! "
And at the third "ho!" drove the bars before thera
with a will.
Even at that exciting moment it carried me back to
the old " Admiral Benbow" in a second; and I seemed
to hear the voice of the captain piping in the chorus.
But soon the anchor was short up ; soon it was hang-
ing dripping at the bows ; soon the sails began to draw,
and the land and shipping to flit by on either side; and
before I could lie down to snatch an hour of slumber
the Hispaniola had begun her voyage to the Isle of
I am not going to relate that voyage in detail. It was
fairly prosperous. The ship proved to be a good ship,
the crew were capable seamen, and the captain thor-
oughly understood his business. But before we came
the length of Treasure Island, two or three things had
happened which require to be known.
Mr. Arrow, first of all, turned out even worse than
the captain had feared. He had no command among
the men, and people did what they pleased with him.
But that was by no means the worst of it; for after a
day or two at sea he began to appear on deck with
hazy eye, red cheeks, stuttering tongue, and other marks
of drunkenness. Time after time he was ordered below
in disgrace. Sometimes he fell and cut himself; some-
times he lay all day long in his little bunk at one side of
the companion ; sometimes for a day or two he would be
almost sober and attend to his work at least passably.
In the meantime, we could never make out where he
got the drink. That was the ship's mystery. Watch
him as we pleased, we could do nothing to solve it; and
when we asked him to his face, he would only laugh, if
he were drunk, and if he were sober, deny solemnly that
he ever tasted anything but water.
He was not only useless as an officer, and a bad in-
fluence amongst the men, but it was plain that at this
rate he must soon kill himself outright; so nobody was
much surprised, nor very sorry, when one dark night,
with a head sea, he disappeared entirely and was seta
"Overboard ! " said the captain. " Well, gentlemen,
that saves the trouble of putting him in irons."
But there we were, without a mate ; and it was nec-
essary, of course, to advance one of the men. The
boatswain, Job Anderson, was the likeliest man aboard,
and, though he kept his old title, he served in a way as
mate. Mr. Trelawney had followed the sea, and his
knowledge made him very useful, for he often took a
watch himself in easy weather. And the coxswain,
Israel Hands, was a careful, wily, old, experienced sea-
man, who could be trusted at a pinch with almost any-
He was a great confidant of Long John Silver, and so
the mention of his name leads me on to speak of our ship's
cook, Barbecue, as the men called him.
Aboard ship he carried his crutch by a lanyard round
his neck, to have both hands as free as possible. It was
something to see him wedge the foot of the crutch
against a bulkhead, and, propped against it, yielding to
every movement of the ship, get on with his cooking
like some one safe ashore. Still more strange was it to
see him in the heaviest of weather cross the deck. He
had a line or two rigged up to help him across the wid-
est spaces — Long John's earrings, they were called; and
he would hand himself from one place to another, now
using the crutch, now trailing it alongside by the Ian-
yard, as quickly as another man could walk. Yet some
of the men who had sailed with him before expressed
their pity to see him so reduced.
"He's no common man, Barbecue," said the cox-
swain to me. "He had good schooling in his young
days, and can speak like a book when so minded; and
brave — a lion's nothing alongside of Long John ! I seen
him grapple four, and knock their heads together — him
All the crew respected and even obeyed him. He had
a way of talking to each, and doing everybody some
particular service. To me he was unweariedly kind;
and always glad to see me in the galley, which he kept
as clean as a new pin ; the dishes hanging up burnished,
and his parrot in a cage in one corner.
" Come away, Hawkins," he would say; " come and
have a yarn with John. Nobody more welcome than
yourself, my son. Sit you down and hear the news.
Here's Cap'n Flint — I calls my parrot Cap'n Flint, after
the famous buccaneer — here's Cap'n Flint predicting
success to our v'yage. Wasn't you, cap'n ?"
And the parrot would say, with great rapidity, "Pieces
of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!" till you
wondered that it was not out of breath, or till John
threw his handkerchief over the cage.
"Now, that bird," he would say, "is, may be, two
hundred years old, Hawkins — they lives for ever mostly;
and if anybody's seen more wickedness, it must be the
devil himself. She's sailed with England, the great Cap'n
England, the pirate. She's been at Madagascar, and at
Malabar, and Surinam, and Providence, and Portobello.
She was at the fishing up of the wrecked plate ships.
It's there she learned ' Pieces of eight/ and little wonder;
three hundred and fifty thousand of 'em, Hawkins ! She
was at the boarding of the Viceroy of the Indies out of
Goa, she was ; and to look at her you would think she
was a babby. But you smelt powder — didn't you,
** Stand by to go about," the parrot would scream.
"Ah, she's a handsome craft, she is," the cook would
say, and give her sugar from his pocket, and then the
bird would peck at the bars and swear straight on, pass-
ing belief for wickedness. "There," John would add,
"you can't touch pitch and not be mucked, lad. Here's
this poor old innocent bird o' mine swearing blue fire,
and none the wiser, you may lay to that She would
swear the same, in a manner of speaking, before chap-
lain." And John would touch his forelock with a sol-
emn way he had, that made me think he was the best
In the meantime, the squire and Captain Smollett were
still on pretty distant terms with one another. The
squire made no bones about the matter; he despised the
captain. The captain, on his part, never spoke but when
he was spoken to, and then sharp and short and dry,
and not a word wasted. He owned, when driven into a
corner, that he seemed to have been wrong about the
crew, that some of them were as brisk as he wanted to
see, and all had behaved fairly well. As for the ship,
he had taken a downright fancy to her. "She'll lie a
point nearer the wind than a man has a right to expect
of his own married wife, sir. But," he would add,
" all I say is we're not home again, and I don't like the
The squire, at this, would turn away and march up
and down the deck, chin in air.
"A trifle more of that man," he would say, "and I
We had some heavy weather, which only proved the
qualities of the Hispaniola. Every man on board seemed
well content, and they must have been hard to please
if they had been otherwise ; for it is my belief there was
never a ship's company so spoiled since Noah put to sea.
Double grog was going on the least excuse ; there was
duff on odd days, as, for instance, if the squire heard it
was any man's birthday ; and always a barrel of apples
standing broached in the waist, for any one to help him-
self that had a fancy.
"Never knew good come of it yet/' the captain said
to Dr. Livesey. "Spoil foc's'le hands, make devils.
That's my belief."
But good did come of the apple barrel, as you shall
hear; for if it had not been for that, we should have had
no note of warning, and might all have perished by the
hand of treachery.
This was how it came about.
We had run up the trades to get the wind of the isl-
and we were after — I am not allowed to be more plain
— and now we were running down for it with a bright
look-out day and night. It was about the last day of
our outward voyage, by the largest computation ; some
time that night, or, at latest, before noon of the morrow,
we should sight the Treasure Island. We were head-
ing S.S.W., and had a steady breeze abeam and a quiet
sea. The Hispaniola rolled steadily, dipping h«r bow-
sprit now and then with a whiff of spray. All was;
drawing alow and aloft ; every one was in the bravest
spirits, because we were now so near an end of the
first part of our adventure.
Now, just after sundown, when all my work was
over, and I was on my way to my berth, it occurred to
me that I should like an apple. I ran on deck. The
watch was all forward looking out for the island. The
man at the helm was watching the luff of the sail, and
whistling away gently to himself; and that was the only
sound excepting the swish of the sea against the bows
and around the sides of the ship.
In I got bodily into the apple barrel, and found there
was scarce an apple left ; but, sitting down there in the
dark, what with the sound of the waters and the rock-
ing movement of the ship, I had either fallen asleep, or
was on the point of doing so, when a heavy man sat
down with rather a clash close by. The barrel shook
as he leaned his shoulders against it, and I was just
about to jump up when the man began to speak. It
was Silver's voice, and, before I had heard a dozen
words, I would not have shown myself for all the world,
but lay there, trembling and listening, in the extreme of
fear and curiosity ; for from these dozen words I under-
stood that the lives of all the honest men aboard de-
pended upon me alone.
WHAT I HEARD IN THE APPLE BARREL
"No, not I," said Silver. "Flint was cap'n; I was
quartermaster, along of my timber leg. The same
broadside 1 lost my leg, old Pew lost his dead-lights.
It was a master surgeon, him that ampytated me — out
of college and all — Latin by the bucket, and what not;
but he was hanged like a dog, and sun-dried like the
rest, at Corso Castle. That was Roberts' men, that was,
and corned of changing names to their ships — Royal
Fortune and so on. Now, what a ship was christened,
so let her stay, I says. So it was with the Cassandra,
as brought us all safe home from Malabar, after England
took the Viceroy of the Indies ; so it was with the old
Walrm, Flint's old ship, as I've seen a-muck with the
red blood and fit to sink with gold/'
" Ah ! " cried another voice, that of the youngest hand
on board, and evidently full of admiration, "he was the
flower of the flock, was Flint! "
"Davis was a man, too, by all accounts, " said Silver.
"I never sailed along of him; first with England, then
with Flint, that's my story ; and now here on my own
account, in a manner of speaking. I laid by nine hun-
dred safe, from England, and two thousand after Flint.
That ain't bad for a man before the mast — all safe in
WHAT I HEARD IN THE APPLE BARREL
bank. 'Tain't earning now, it's saving does it, you may
lay to that Where's all England's men now ? I dunno*
Where's Flint's ? Why, most on 'em aboard here, and
glad to get the duff — been begging before that, some
on 'em. Old Pew, as had lost his sight, and might
have thought shame, spends twelve hundred pound in
a year, like a lord in Parliament. Where is he now ?
Well, he's dead now and under hatches ; but for two year
before that, shiver my timbers ! the man was starving.
He begged, and he stole, and he cut throats, and starved
at that, by the powers ! "
"Well, it ain't much use, after all," said the young
"'Tain't much use for fools, you may lay to it — that,
nor nothing," cried Silver. " But now, you look here:
you're young, you are, but you're as smart as paint. 1
see that when I set my eyes on you, and I'll talk to you
like a man."
You may imagine how I felt when I heard this abom-
inable old rogue addressing another in the very same
words of flattery as he had used to myself. I think, if
I had been able, that I would have killed him through
the barrel. Meantime, he ran on, little supposing he
11 Here it is about gentlemen of fortune. They lives
rough, and they risk swinging, but they eat and drink
like fighting-cocks, and when a cruise is done, why, it's
hundreds of pounds instead of hundreds of farthings in
their pockets. Now, the most goes for rum and a good
fling, and to sea again in their shirts. But that's not
the course I lay. I puts it all away, some here, some
there, and none too much anywheres, by reason of sus-
picion. Pm fifty, mark you ; once back from this cruise,
I set up gentleman in earnest. Time enough, too, says
you. Ah, but I've lived easy in the meantime; never
denied myself o' nothing heart desires, and slep' soft and
ate dainty all my days, but when at sea. And how did
I begin ? Before the mast, like you ! "
" Well," said the other, "but all the other money's
gone now, ain't it ? You daren't show face in Bristol
"Why, where might you suppose it was?" asked
" At Bristol, in banks and places," answered his com-
1 ' It were, " said the cook ; " it were when we weighed
anchor. But my old missis has it all by now. And the
' Spy-glass ' is sold, lease and goodwill and rigging; and
the old girl's off to meet me. I would tell you where,
for I trust you; but it 'u'd make jealousy among the
" And can you trust your missis ? " asked the other.
"Gentlemen of fortune," returned the cook, "usu-
ally trusts little among themselves, and right they are,
you may lay to it. But I have a way with me, I have.
When a mate brings a slip on his cable — one as knows
me, I mean — it won't be in the same world with old
John. There was some that was feared of Pew, and
some that was feared of Flint ; but Flint his own self was
feared of me. Feared he was, and proud. They was
the roughest crew afloat, was Flint's; the devil himself
would have been feared to go to sea with them. Well,
now, I tell you, I'm not a boasting man, and you seen
yourself how easy I keep company; but when I was
WHAT i HEARD IN THE APPLE BARREL
quartermaster, lambs wasn't the word for Flint's old
buccaneers. Ah, you may be sure of yourself in old
< ' Well, I tell you now," replied the lad, "I didn't
half a quarter like the job till 1 had this talk with you,
John; but there's my hand on it now."
"And a brave lad you were, and smart, too," an-
swered Silver, shaking hands so heartily that all the bar-
rel shook, "and a finer figurehead for a gentleman of
fortune I never clapped my eyes on."
By this time I had begun to understand the meaning
of their terms. By a "gentleman of fortune" they
plainly meant neither more nor less than a common
pirate, and the little scene that I had overheard was the
last act in the corruption of one of the honest hands —
perhaps of the last one left aboard. But on this point
I was soon to be relieved, for Silver giving a little
whistle, a third man strolled up and sat down by the
"Dick's square," said Silver.
" Oh, I know'd Dick was square," returned the voice
of the coxswain, Israel Hands. " He's no fool, is Dick."
And he turned his quid and spat. " But, look here," he
went on, " here's what I want to know, Barbecue: how
long are we a-going to stand off and on like a blessed
bumboat? I've had a'most enough o' Cap'n Smollett;
he's hazed me long enough, by thunder! I want to go
into that cabin, I do. I want their pickles and wines,
" Israel," said Silver, "your head ain't much account,
nor ever was. But you're able to hear, I reckon; least-
ways, your ears is big enough. Now, here's what I say :
you'll berth forward, and you'll live hard, and you'll
speak soft, and you'll keep sober, till I give the word;
and you may lay to that, my son."
"Well, I don't say no, do I ?" growled the coxswain.
" What I say is, when ? That's what I say/'
■ ' When ! by the powers ! " cried Silver. ' ' Well, now,
if you want to know, I'll tell you when. The last mo-
ment I can manage; and that's when. Here's a first-
rate seaman, Cap'n Smollett, sails the blessed ship for us.
Here's this squire and doctor with a map and such — 1
don't know where it is, do I ? No more do you, says
you. Well, then, I mean this squire and doctor shall
find the stuff, and help us to get it aboard, by the
powers! Then we'll see. If I was sure of you all, sons
of double Dutchmen, I'd have Cap'n Smollett navigate
us half-way back again before I struck. "
"Why, we're all seamen aboard here, I should think,"
said the lad Dick.
"We're all foc's'le hands, you mean," snapped Silver.
"We can steer a course, but who's to set one ? That's
what all you gentlemen split on, first and last. If I had
my way, I'd have Cap'n Smollett work us back into the
trades at least; then we'd have no blessed miscalcula-
tions and a spoonful of water a day. But I know the
sort you are. I'll finish with 'em at the island, as soon's
the Hunt's on board, and a pity it is. But you're never
happy till you're drunk. Split my sides, I've a sick heart
to sail with the likes of you! "
"Easy all, Long John, "cried Israel. "Who's a-cross-
in' of you? "
"Why, how many tall ships, think ye, now, have I
seen laid aboard ? and how many brisk lads drying in
WHAT I HEARD IN THE APPLE BARREL
the sun at Execution Dock ? " cried Silver, " and all for
this same hurry and hurry and hurry. You hear me ?
I seen a thing or two at sea, I have. If you would on'y
lay your course, and a p'int to windward, you would
ride in carriages, you would. But not you! 1 know
you. You'll have your mouthful of rum to-morrow,
and go hang."
"Everybody know'd you was a kind of a chapling,
John; but there's others as could hand and steer as well
as you," said Israel. "They liked a bit o' fun, they did.
They wasn't so high and dry, nohow, but took their
fling, like jolly companions every one."
" So ? " says Silver. ' ' Well, and where are they now ?
Pew was that sort, and he died a beggar-man. Flint
was, and he died of rum at Savannah. Ah, they was a
sweet crew, they was ! on'y, where are they ? "
"But," asked Dick, "when we do lay 'em athwart,
what are we to do with 'em, anyhow ?"
"There's the man for me!" cried the cook, admir-
ingly. "That's what I call business. Well, what
would you think ? Put 'em ashore like maroons ? That
would have been England's way. Or cut 'em down
like that much pork ? That would have been Flint's or
"Billy was the man for that," said Israel. " 'Dead
men don't bite,' says he. Well, he's dead now hisself ; I
he knows the long and short on it now; and if ever a I
rough hand come to port, it was Billy."
" Right you are," said Silver, "rough and ready. But
mark you here: I'm an easy man — I'm quite the gentle-
man, says you ; but this time it's serious. Dooty is dooty,
mates. I give my vote — death. When I'm in Parly-
ment, and riding in my coach, I don't want none of these
sea-lawyers in the cabin a-coming home, unlooked for,
like the devil at prayers. Wait is what I say; but when
the time comes, why let her rip! "
"John," cries the coxswain, "you're a man! "
"You'll say so, Israel, when you see," said Silver.
6 ' Only one thing I claim — I claim Trelawney . I'll wring
his calf's head off his body with these hands, Dick!"
he added, breaking off, "you just jump up, like a sweet
lad, and get me an apple, to wet my pipe like."
You may fancy the terror I was in ! I should have
leaped out and run for it, if I had found the strength;
but my limbs and heart alike misgave me. I heard Dick
begin to rise, and then some one seemingly stopped him,
and the voice of Hands exclaimed : —
1 ' Oh, stow that ! Don't you get sucking of that bilge,
John. Let's have a go of the rum."
1 ' Dick, " said Silver, ' ' I trust you. I've a gauge on
the keg, mind. There's the key; you fill a pannikin and
bring it up."
Terrified as I was, I could not help thinking to myself
that this must have been how Mr. Arrow got the strong
waters that destroyed him.
Dick was gone but a little while, and during his ab-
sence Israel spoke straight on in the cook's ear. It was
but a word or two that I could catch, and yet I gathered
some important news; for, besides other scraps that
tended to the same purpose, this whole clause was au-
dible : ' ' Not another man of them'll jine. " Hence there
were still faithful men on board.
When Dick returned, one after another of the trio took
the pannikin and drank — one " To luck ; " another with
WHAT I HEARD IN THE APPLE BARREL
a "Here's to old Flint; " and Silver himself saying, in *
kind of song, " Here's to ourselves, and hold your luff,
plenty of prizes and plenty of duff."
Just then a sort of brightness fell upon me in the bar-
rel, and, looking up, I found the moon had risen, and
was silvering the mizzen-top and shining white on the
luff of the fore-sail ; and almost at the same time the
voice of the look-out shouted, "Land ho! "
COUNCIL OF WAR
There was a great rush of feet across the deck. I
could hear people tumbling up from the cabin and the
foc's'le; and, slipping in an instant outside my barrel I
dived behind the fore-sail, made a double towards the
stern, and came out upon the open deck in time to join
Hunter and Dr. Livesey in the rush for the weather
There all hands were already congregated. A belt
of fog had lifted almost simultaneously with the appear-
ance of the moon. Away to the south-west of us we
saw two low hills, about a couple of miles apart, and
rising behind one of them a third and higher hill, whose
peak was still buried in the fog. All three seemed sharp
and conical in figure.
So much I saw, almost in a dream, for I had not yet
recovered from my horrid fear of a minute or two before.
And then I heard the voice of Captain Smollett issuing
orders. The Hupaniola was laid a couple of points
nearer the wind, and now sailed a course that would
just clear the island on the east.
"And now, men," said the captain, when all was
sheeted home, " has any one of you ever seen that land
ahead ? "
"YES, SIR," SAID HE, "THIS IS THE SPOT, TO BE SURE, AND
VERY PRETTILY DRAWN OUT"
COUNCIL OF WAR
"I have, sir," said Silver. "I've watered there with
a trader I was cook in."
"The anchorage is on the south, behind an islet, I
fancy ? " asked the captain.
"Yes, sir; Skeleton Island they calls it. It were a
main place for pirates once, and a hand we had on
board knowed all their names for it. That hill to the
nor'ard they calls the Fore-mast Hill; there are three
hills in a row running southward — fore, main, and miz-
zen, sir. But the main — that's the big 'un, with the
cloud on it — they usually calls the Spy-glass, by reason
of a lookout they kept when they was in the anchorage
cleaning; for it's there they cleaned their ships, sir, ask-
ing your pardon."
"I have a chart here," says Captain Smollett. "See
if that's the place."
Long John's eyes burned in his head as he took the
chart ; but, by the fresh look of the paper, I knew he
was doomed to disappointment. This was not the map
we found in Billy Bones's chest, but an accurate copy,
complete in all things — names and heights and sound-
ings — with the single exception of the red crosses and
the written notes. Sharp as must have been his annoy-
ance, Silver had the strength of mind to hide it
M Yes, sir," said he, "this is the spot, to be sure; and
very prettily drawed out. Who might have done that,
I wonder? The pirates were too ignorant, I reckon.
Ay, here it is : *■ Capt Kidd's Anchorage ' — just the name
my shipmate called it. There's a strong current runs
along the south, and then away nor'ard up the west
coast. Right you was, sir, " says he, * ' to haul your
wind and keep the weather of the island. Leastways,
ff such was your intention as to enter and careen, and
there ain't no better place for that in these waters."
' ' Thank you, my man, " says Captain Smollett ' ' I'll
ask you, later on, to give us a help. You may go."
I was surprised at the coolness .with which John
avowed his knowledge of the island ; and I own I was
half-frightened when I saw him drawing nearer to my-
self. He did not know, to be sure, that I had overheard
his council from the apple barrel, and yet I had, by this
time, taken such a horror of his cruelty, duplicity, and
power, that I could scarce conceal a shudder when he
laid his hand upon my arm.
" Ah," says he, "this here is a sweet spot, this island
— a sweet spot for a lad to get ashore on. You'll bathe,
and you'll climb trees, and you'll hunt goats, you will;
and you'll get aloft on them hills like a goat yourself.
Why, it makes me young again. I was going to forget
my timber leg, I was. It's a pleasant thing to be young,
and have ten toes, and you may lay to that. When you
want to go a bit of exploring, you just ask old John, and
he'll put up a snack for you to take along."
And clapping me in the friendliest way upon the shoul-
der, he hobbled off forward, and went below.
Captain Smollett, the squire, and Dr. Livesey were
talking together on the quarter-deck, and, anxious as I
was to tell them my story, I durst not interrupt them
openly. While I was still casting about in my thoughts
to find some probable excuse, Dr. Livesey called me to
his side. He had left his pipe below, and being a slave
to tobacco, had meant that I should fetch it; but as soon
as I was near enough to speak and not to be overheard,
J broke out immediately : — "Doctor, let me speak. Get
COUNCIL OF WAR
trie captasn and squire down to the cabin, and then make
some pretence to send for me. I have terrible news."
The doctor changed countenance a little, but next
moment he was master of himself.
" Thank you, Jim," said he, quite loudly, "that was
all I wanted to know, " as if he had asked me a question.
And wit*i that he turned on his heel and rejoined the
other two. They spoke together for a little, and though
none of thtm started, or raised his voice, or so much as
whistlej, it was plain enough that Dr. Livesey had com-
municated ;ny request; for the next thing that I heard
was the captain giving an order to Job Anderson, and
all hands were piped on deck.
"My ladj," said Captain Smollett, "I've a word to
say to you. This land that we have sighted is the place
we have be^n sailing for. Mr. Trelawney, being a very
open-handed gentleman, as we all know, has just asked
me a word or two, and as I was able to tell him that
every man en board had done his duty, alow and aloft,
as I never ask to see it done better, why, he and I and
the doctor are going below to the cabin to drink your
health and luck, and you'll have grog served out for you
to drink our health and luck. I'll tell you what I think of
this : I think it handsome. And if you think as I do, you'll
give a good sea cheer for the gentleman that does it."
The cheer followed — that was a matter of course;
but it rang out so full and hearty, that I confess I could
hardly believe these same men were plotting for our
"One more cheer for Cap'n Smollett," cried Long
John, when the first had subsided.
And this also was given with a will.
On the top of that the three gentlemen went below,
and not long after, word was sent forward that Jim
Hawkins was wanted in the cabin.
I found them all three seated round the table, a bottle
of Spanish wine and some raisins before them, and the
doctor smoking away, with his wig on his lap, and that,
I knew, was a sign that he was agitated. The stern
window was open, for it was a warm night, and you
could see the moon shining behind on the ship's wake.
"Now, Hawkins/' said the squire, "you have some-
thing to say* Speak up."
I did as I was bid, and as short as I could make it,
told the whole details of Silver's conversation. Nobody
interrupted me till I was done, nor did any one of the
three of them make so much as a movement, but they
kept their eyes upon my face from first to last.
"Jim," said Dr. Livesey, "take a seat."
And they made me sit down at table beside them,
poured me out a glass of wine, filled my hands with
raisins, and all three, one after the other, and each with
a bow, drank my good health, and their service to me,
for my luck and courage.
"Now, captain," said the squire, "you were right
and 1 was wrong. I own myself an ass, and I await
"No more an ass than I, sir," returned the captain.
" I never heard of a crew that meant to mutiny but what
showed signs before, for any man that had an eye in his
head to see the mischief and take steps according. But
this crew," he added, "beats me."
"Captain," said the doctor, "with your permission,
that's Silver. A very remarkable man."
COUNCIL OF WAR
"He'd look remarkably well from a yard-arm, sir,"
returned the captain. " But this is talk; this don't lead
to anything. I see three or four points, and with Mr.
Trelawney's permission, I'll name them."
" You, sir, are the captain. It is for you to speak,"
says Mr. Trelawney, grandly.
"First point," began Mr. Smollett. "We must go
on, because we can't turn back. If I gave the word to
go about, they would rise at once. Second point, we
have time before us — at least, until this treasure's found.
Third point, there are faithful hands. Now, sir, it's got
to come to blows sooner or later ; and what I propose
is, to take time by the forelock, as the saying is, and
come to blows some fine day when they least expect
it We can count, I take it, on your own home ser-
vants, Mr. Trelawney?"
"As upon myself," declared the squire.
"Three," reckoned the captain, "ourselves make
seven, counting Hawkins, here. Now, about the hon-
" Most likely Trelawney's own men," said the doctor;
"those he had picked up for himself, before he lit on
"Nay," replied the squire, "Hands was one of mine."
" I did think I could have trusted Hands," added the
"And to think that they're all Englishmen!" broke
out the squire. "Sir, I could find it in my heart to
blow the ship up."
"Well, gentlemen," said the captain, "the best that
I can say is not much. We must lay to, if you please,
and keep a bright look out. It's trying on a man, I
know. It would be pleasanter to come to blows. But
there's no help for it till we know our men. Lay to,
and whistle for a wind, that's my view."
"Jim here," said the doctor, " can help us more than
any one. The men are not shy with him, and Jim is a
"Hawkins, I put prodigious faith in you," added the
1 began to feel pretty desperate at this, for I felt alto-
gether helpless ; and yet, by an odd train of circum-
stances, it was indeed through me that safety came. In
the meantime, talk as we pleased, there were only seven
out of the twenty-six on whom we knew we could
rely ; and out of these seven one was a boy, so that the
grown men on our side were six to their nineteen.
MY SHORE ADVENTURE
HOW MY SHORE ADVENTURE BEGAN
THE appearance of the island when I came on deck
next morning was altogether changed. Although
the breeze had now utterly ceased, we had made a great
deal of way during the night, and were now lying be-
calmed about half a mile to the south-east of the low
eastern coast. Grey-coloured woods covered a large
part of the surface. This even tint was indeed broken
up by streaks of yellow sandbreak in the lower lands,
and by many tall trees of the pine family, out-topping
the others — some singly, some in clumps; but the gen-
eral colouring was uniform and sad. The hills ran up
clear above the vegetation in spires of naked rock. All
were strangely shaped, and the Spy-glass, which was
by three or four hundred feet the tallest on the island,
was likewise the strangest in configuration, running up
sheer from almost every side, and then suddenly cut off
at the top like a pedestal to put a statue on.
The Hispaniola was rolling scuppers under in the
ocean swell. The booms were tearing at the blocks,
the rudder was banging to and fro, and the whole ship
creaking, groaning, and jumping like a manufactory.
I had to cling tight to the backstay, and the world
turned giddily before my eyes ; for though I was a good
enough sailor when there was way on, this standing
still and being rolled about like a bottle was a thing I
never learned to stand without a qualm or so, above all
in the morning, on an empty stomach.
Perhaps it was this — perhaps it was the look of the
island, with its grey, melancholy woods, and wild stone
spires, and the surf that we could both see and hear
foaming and thundering on the steep beach — at least,
although the sun shone bright and hot, and the shore
birds were fishing and crying all around us, and you
would have thought any one would have been glad to
get to land after being so long at sea, my heart sank, as
the saying is, into my boots ; and from that first look
onward, I hated the very thought of Treasure Island.
We had a dreary morning's work before us, for there
was no sign of any wind, and the boats had to be got
out and manned, and the ship warped three or four
miles round the corner of the island, and up the narrow
passage to the haven behind Skeleton Island. I vol-
unteered for one of the boats, where I had, of course,
no business. The heat was sweltering, and the men
grumbled fiercely over their work. Anderson was in
command of my boat, and instead of keeping the crew
in order, he grumbled as loud as the worst.
" Well," he said, with an oath, " it's not for ever."
I thought this was a very bad sign; for, up to that
day, the men had gone briskly and willingly about their
business; but the very sight of the island had relaxed the
cords of discipline.
All the way in, Long John stood by the steersman and
conned the ship. He knew the passage like the palm
of his hand ; and though the man in the chains got every-
HOW MY SHORE ADVENTURE BEGAN
where more water than was down in the chart, John
never hesitated once.
" There's a strong scour with the ebb," he said, " and
this here passage has been dug out, in a manner of
speaking, with a spade."
We brought up just where the anchor was in the
chart, about a third of a mile from each shore, the main-
land on one side, and Skeleton Island on the other. The
bottom was clean sand. The plunge of our anchor sent
up clouds of birds wheeling and crying over the woods ;
but in less than a minute they were down again, and all
was once more silent.
The place was entirely land-locked, buried in woods,
the trees coming right down to high-water mark, the
shores mostly flat, and the hilltops standing round at a
distance in a sort of amphitheatre, one here, one there.
Two little rivers, or, rather, two swamps, emptied out
into this pond, as you might call it ; and the foliage round
that part of the shore had a kind of poisonous bright-
ness. From the ship, we could see nothing of the house
or stockade, for they were quite buried among trees ; and
if it had not been for the chart on the companion, we
might have been the first that had ever anchored there
since the island arose out of the seas.
There was not a breath of air moving, nor a sound
but that of the surf booming half a mile away along the
beaches and against the rocks outside. A peculiar stag-
nant smell hung over the anchorage — a smell of sodden
leaves and rotting tree trunks. I observed the doctor
sniffing and sniffing, like some one tasting a bad egg.
"I don't know about treasure," he said, "but I'll
stake my wig there's fever here."
If the conduct of the men had been alarming in the
boat, it became truly threatening when they had come
aboard. They lay about the deck growling together in
talk. The slightest order was received with a black
look, and grudgingly and carelessly obeyed. Even the
honest hands must have caught the infection, for there
was not one man aboard to mend another. Mutiny, it
was plain, hung over us like a thunder-cloud.
And it was not only we of the cabin party who per-
ceived the danger. Long John was hard at work going
from group to group, spending himself in good advice,
and as for example no man could have shown a better.
He fairly outstripped himself in willingness and civility;
he was all smiles to every one. If an order were given,
John would be on his crutch in an instant, with the cheer-
iest "Ay, ay, sir! " in the world; and when there was
nothing else to do, he kept up one song after another,
as if to conceal the discontent of the rest.
Of all the gloomy features of that gloomy afternoon,
this obvious anxiety on the part of Long John appeared
We held a council in the cabin.
"Sir/* said the captain, "if I risk another order, the
whole ship 11 come about our ears by the run. You see,
sir, here it is. I get a rough answer, do I not ? Well,
if I speak back, pikes will be going in two shakes ; if I
don't, Silver will see there's something under that, and
the game's up. Now, we've only one man to rely on."
" And who is that ? " asked the squire.
" Silver, sir," returned the captain ; "he's as anxious as
you and I to smother things up. This is a tiff; he'd soon
talk 'em out of it if he had the chance, and what I propose
HOW MY SHORE ADVENTURE BEGAN
to do is to give him the chance. Let's allow the men an
afternoon ashore. If they all go, why, we'll fight the ship.
If they none of them go, well, then, we hold the cabin, and
God defend the right. If some go, you mark my words,
sir, Silver '11 bring 'em aboard again as mild as Iambs."
It was so decided; loaded pistols were served out
to all the sure men; Hunter, Joyce, and Redruth were
taken into our confidence, and received the news with
less surprise and a better spirit than we had looked for, and
then the captain went on deck and addressed the crew.
"My lads," said he, "we've had a hot day, and are
all tired and out of sorts. A turn ashore '11 hurt nobody
— the boats are still in the water; you can take the gigs,
and as many as please may go ashore for the afternoon.
I'll fire a gun half an hour before sundown."
I believe the silly fellows must have thought they
would break their shins over treasure as soon as they
were landed; for they all came out of their sulks in
a moment, and gave a cheer that started the echo in a
far-away hill, and sent the birds once more flying and
squalling round the anchorage.
The captain was too bright to be in the way. He
whipped out of sight in a moment, leaving Silver to
arrange the party ; and I fancy it was as well he did so.
Had he been on deck, he could no longer so much as
have pretended not to understand the situation. It was
as plain as day. Silver was the captain, and a mighty
rebellious crew he had of it. The honest hands — and
I was soon to see it proved that there were such on
board — -must have been very stupid fellows. Or,
rather, I suppose the truth was this, that all hands were
disaffected by the example of the ringleaders — only
some more, some less ; and a few, being good fellows
in the main, could neither be led nor driven any further.
It is one thing to be idle and skulk, and quite another
to take a ship and murder a number of innocent men.
At last, however, the party was made up. Six fel-
lows were to stay on board, and the remaining thirteen,
including Silver, began to embark.
Then it was that there came into my head the first of
the mad notions that contributed so much to save our
lives. If six men were left by Silver, it was plain our
party could not take and fight the ship ; and since only
six were left, it was equally plain that the cabin party
had no present need of my assistance. It occurred to
me at once to go ashore. In a jiffy I had slipped over
the side, and curled up in the fore-sheets of the nearest
boat, and almost at the same moment she shoved off.
No one took notice of me, only the bow oar saying,
"Is that you, Jim? Keep your head down." But
Silver, from the other boat, looked sharply over and
called out to know if that were me ; and from that mo-
ment I began to regret what I had done.
The crews raced for the beach ; but the boat I was in,
having some start, and being at once the lighter and the
better manned, shot far ahead of her consort, and the
bow had struck among the shore-side trees, and I had
caught a branch and swung myself out, and plunged
into the nearest thicket, while Silver and the rest were
still a hundred yards behind.
"Jim, Jim!" I heard him shouting.
But you may suppose I paid no heed ; jumping, duck'
ing, and breaking through, I ran straight before my nose^
till I could run no longer.
THE FIRST BLOW
I was so pleased at having given the slip to Long
John, that I began to enjoy myself and look around me
wifh some interest on the strange land that I was in.
I had crossed a marshy tract full of willows, bulrushes,
and odd, outlandish, swampy trees ; and I had now come
out upon the skirts of an open piece of undulating, sandy
country, about a mile long, dotted with a few pines, and
a great number of contorted trees, not unlike the oak
in growth, but pale in the foliage, like willows. On
the far side of the open stood one of the hills, with two
quaint, craggy peaks, shining vividly in the sun.
I now felt for the first time the joy of exploration.
The isle was uninhabited ; my shipmates I had left be-
hind, and nothing lived in front of me but dumb brutes
and fowls. I turned hither and thither among the trees.
Here and there were flowering plants, unknown to me ;
here and there I saw snakes, and one raised his head
from a ledge of rock and hissed at me with a noise not
unlike the spinning of a top. Little did I suppose that
he was a deadly enemy, and that the noise was the
Then I came to a long thicket of these oak-like trees
—live, or evergreen, oaks, 1 heard afterwards they should
be called — which grew low along the sand like bram-
bles, the boughs curiously twisted, the foliage compact,
like thatch. The thicket stretched down from the top
of one of the sandy knolls, spreading and growing taller
as it went, until it reached the margin of the broad,
reedy fen, through which the nearest of the little rivers
soaked its way into the anchorage. The marsh was
steaming tn the strong sun, and the outline of the Spy-
glass trembled through the haze.
All at once there began to go a sort of bustle among
the bulrushes ; a wild duck flew up with a quack, an-
other followed, and soon over the whole surface of the
marsh a great cloud of birds hung screaming and cir-
cling in the air. I judged at once that some of my ship-
mates must be drawing near along the borders of the
fen. Nor was I deceived ; for soon I heard the very dis-
tant and low tones of a human voice, which, as I con-
tinued to give ear, grew steadily louder and nearer.
This put me in a great fear, and I crawled under cover
of the nearest live-oak, and squatted there, hearkening,
as silent as a mouse.
Another voice answered; and then the first voice,
which 1 now recognised to be Silver's, once more took
up the story, and ran on for a long while in a stream,
only now and again interrupted by the other. By the
sound they must have been talking earnestly, and al-
most fiercely ; but no distinct word came to my hearing.
At last the speakers seemed to have paused, and per-
haps to have sat down ; for not only did they cease to
draw any nearer, but the birds themselves began to
grow more quiet, and to settle again to their places in
THE FIRST BLOW
And now I began to feel that I was neglecting my
business ; that since I had been so foolhardy as to come
ashore with these desperadoes, the least I could do was
to overhear them at their councils; and that my plain
and obvious duty was to draw as close as I could man-
age, under the favourable ambush of the crouching trees.
I could tell the direction of the speakers pretty exactly,
not only by the sound of their voices, but by the be-
haviour of the few birds that still hung in alarm above
the heads of the intruders.
Crawling on all-fours, I made steadily but slowly to-
wards them ; till at last, raising my head to an aperture
among the leaves, I could see clear down into a little
green dell beside the marsh, and closely set about with
trees, where Long John Silver and another of the crew
stood face to face in conversation.
The sun beat full upon them. Silver had thrown his
hat beside him on the ground, and his great, smooth,
blond face, all shining with heat, was lifted to the other
man's in a kind of appeal.
"Mate," he was saying, "it's because I thinks gold
dust of you — gold dust, and you may lay to that! If I
hadn't took to you like pitch, do you think I'd have been
here a-warning of you ? All's up — you can't make nor
mend; it's to save your neck that I'm a-speaking, and
if one of the wild 'uns knew it, where 'ud I be, Tom —
now, tell me, where 'ud I be?*'
"Silver," said the other man — and I observed he was
not only red in the face, but spoke as hoarse as a crow,
and his voice shook, too, like a taut rope — "Silver,"
says he, M you're old, and you're honest, or has the name
for it; and you've money, too, which lots of poor sailors
hasn't; and you're brave, or I'm mistook. And will you
tell me you'll let yourself be led away with that kind of
a mess of swabs ? not you ! As sure as God sees me,
I'd sooner lose my hand. If I turn agin my dooty— — "
And then all of a sudden he was interrupted by a noise.
I had found one of the honest hands — well, here, at that
same moment, came news of another. Far awa'y out in
the marsh there arose, all of a sudden, a sound like the
cry of anger, then another on the back of it; and then
one horrid, long-drawn scream. The rocks of the Spy-
glass re-echoed it a score of times ; the whole troop of
marsh-birds rose again, darkening heaven, with a simul-
taneous whirr; and long after that death yell was still
ringing in my brain, silence had re-established its empire,
and only the rustle of the redescending birds and the
boom of the distant surges disturbed the languor of the
Tom had leaped at the sound, like a horse at the spur;
but Silver had not winked an eye. He stood where he
was, resting lightly on his crutch, watching his com-
panion like a snake about to spring.
"John! " said the sailor, stretching out his hand.
" Hands off! " cried Silver, leaping back a yard, as it
seemed to me, with the speed and security of a trained
" Hands off, if you like, John Silver," said the other.
" It's a black conscience that can make you feared of me.
But, in heaven's name, tell me what was that?"
"That?" returned Silver, smiling away, but warier
than ever, his eye a mere pin-point in his big face, but
gleaming like a crumb of glass. "That ? Oh, I reckon
that'll be Alan."
THE FIRST BLOW
And at this poor Tom flashed out like a hero.
"Alan ! " he cried. "Then rest his soul for a true sea-
man! And as for you, John Silver, long you've been a
mate of mine, but you're mate of mine no more. If I
die like a dog, I'll die in my dooty. You've killed Alan,
have you ? Kill me, too, if you can. But I defies you."
And with that, this brave fellow turned his back
directly on the cook, and set off walking for the beach.
But he was not destined to go far. With a cry, John
seized the branch of a tree, whipped the crutch out of
his armpit, and sent that uncouth missile hurtling through
the air. It struck poor Tom, point foremost, and with
stunning violence, right between the shoulders in the
middle of his back. His hands flew up, he gave a sort
of gasp, and fell.
Whether he were injured much or little, none could
ever tell Like enough, to judge from the sound, his
back was broken on the spot. But he had no time
given him to recover. Silver, agile as a monkey, even
without leg or crutch, was on the top of him next mo-
ment, and had twice buried his knife up to the hilt in
that defenceless body. From my place of ambush, I
could hear him pant aloud as he struck the blows.
I do not know what it rightly is to faint, but I d6
know that for the next little while the whole world
swam away from before me in a whirling mist; Silver
and the birds, and the tall Spy-glass hilltop, going
round and round and topsy-turvy before my eyes, and
all manner of bells ringing and distant voices shouting
in my ear.
When I came again to myself, the monster had pulled
himself together, his crutch under his arm, his hat upon
his head. Just before him Tom lay motionless upon
the sward ; but the murderer minded him not a whit,
cleansing his blood-stained knife the while upon a wisp
of grass. Everything else was unchanged, the sun still
shining mercilessly on the steaming marsh and the tall
pinnacle of the mountain, and I could scarce persuade
myself that murder had been actually done, and a human
life cruelly cut short a moment since, before my eyes.
But now John put his hand into his pocket, brought
out a whistle, and blew upon it several modulated blasts,
that rang far across the heated air. I could not tell, of
course, the meaning of the signal ; but it instantly awoke
my fears. More men would be coming. I might be
discovered. They had already slain two of the honest
people ; after Tom and Alan, might not I come next ?
Instantly I began to extricate myself and crawl back
again, with what speed and silence I could manage, to
the more open portion of the wood. As I did so, I
could hear hails coming and going between the old
buccaneer and his comrades, and this sound of danger
lent me wings. As soon as I was clear of the thicket,
I ran as I never ran before, scarce minding the direction
of my flight, so long as it led me from the murderers ;
and as I ran, fear grew and grew upon me, until it turned
Into a kind of frenzy.
Indeed, could any one be more entirely lost than I ?
When the gun fired, how should I dare to go down to
the boats among those fiends, still smoking from their
crime ? Would not the first of them who saw me wring
my neck like a snipe's ? Would not my absence itself
be an evidence to them of my alarm, and therefore
of my fatal knowledge ? It was all over, I thought
THE FIRST BLOW
Good-bye to the Hhpaniola; good-bye to the squire,
the doctor, and the captain! There was nothing left
for me but death by starvation, or death by the hands
of the mutineers.
All this while, as I say, I was still running, and, with-
out taking any notice, I had drawn near to the foot of
the little hill with the two peaks, and had got into a part
of the island where the live-oaks grew more widely apart,
and seemed more like forest trees in their bearing and
dimensions. Mingled with these were a few scattered
pines, some fifty, some nearer seventy, feet high. The
air, too, smelt more freshly than down beside the marsh.
And here a fresh alarm brought me to a standstill with
a thumping heart.
THE MAN OF THE ISLAND
From the side of the hill, which was here steep and
stony, a spout of gravel was dislodged, and fell rattling
and bounding through the trees. My eyes turned in-
stinctively in that direction, and I saw a figure leap with
great rapidity behind the trunk of a pine. What it was,
whether bear or man or monkey, I could in no wise
tell. It seemed dark and shaggy ; more I knew not
But the terror of this new apparition brought me to a
I was now, it seemed, cut off upon both sides; behind
me the murderers, before me this lurking nondescript.
And immediately I began to prefer the dangers that I
knew to those I knew not. Silver himself appeared less
terrible in contrast with this creature of the woods, and
I turned on my heel, and, looking sharply behind me
over my shoulder, began to retrace my steps in the di-
rection of the boats.
Instantly the figure reappeared, and, making a wide
circuit, began to head me off. I was tired, at any rate ;
but had I been as fresh as when I rose, I could see it
was in vain for me to contend in speed with such an
adversary. From trunk to trunk the creature flitted like
a deer, running manlike on two legs, but unlike any
THE MAN OF THE ISLAND
man that I had ever seen, stooping almost double as it
ran. Yet a man it was, I could no longer be in doubt
I began to recall what I had heard of cannibals, I
was within an ace of calling for help. But the mere
fact that he was a man, however wild, had somewhat
reassured me, and my fear of Silver began to revive in
proportion. 1 stood still, therefore, and cast about for
some method of escape; and as I was so thinking, the
recollection of my pistol flashed into my mind. As soon
as I remembered I was not defenceless, courage glowed
again in my heart; and I set my face resolutely for
this man of the island, and walked briskly towards
He was concealed, by this time, behind another tree
trunk; but he must have been watching me closely, for
as soon as 1 began to move in his direction he reappeared
and took a step to meet me. Then he hesitated, drew
back, came forward again, and at last, to my wonder and
confusion, threw himself on his knees and held out his
clasped hands in supplication.
At that I once more stopped.
M Who are you ?" I asked.
"Ben Gunn," he answered, and his voice sounded
hoarse and awkward, like a rusty lock. "I'm poor
Ben Gunn, 1 am ; and I haven't spoke with a Christian
these three years."
I could now see that he was a white man like myself,
and that his features were even pleasing. His skin,
wherever it was exposed, was burnt by the sun; even
his lips were black, and his fair eyes looked quite
startling in so dark a face. Of all the beggar-men
that I had seen or fancied, he was the chief for ragged-
ness. He was clothed with tatters of old ship's canvas
and old sea cloth; and this extraordinary patchwork
was all held together by a system of tha most various
and incongruous fastenings, brass buttons, bits of stick,
and loops of tarry gaskin. About his waist he wore
an old brass-buckled leather belt, which was the one
thing solid in his whole accoutrement.
"Three years!" I cried. "Were you shipwrecked ?"
"Nay, mate," said he — "marooned."
1 had heard the word, and I knew it stood for a
horrible kind of punishment common enough among the
buccaneers, in which the offender is put ashore with a
little powder and shot, and left behind on some desolate
and distant island.
"Marooned three years agone," he continued, "and
lived on goats since then, and berries, and oysters.
Wherever a man is, says I, a man can do for himself.
But, mate, my heart is sore for Christian diet. You
mightn't happen to have a piece of cheese about you,
now ? No ? Well, many's the long night I've dreamed
of cheese — toasted, mostly — and woke up again, and
here 1 were."
" If ever 1 can get aboard again," said I, "you shall
have cheese by the stone."
All this time he had been feeling the stuff of my jacket,
smoothing my hands, looking at my boots, and gen-
erally, in the intervals of his speech, showing a childish
pleasure in the presence of a fellow-creature. But at my
last words he perked up into a kind of startled slyness.
" If ever you can get aboard again, says you ? " he re-
peated. "Why, now, who's to hinder yoa?"
THE MAN OF THE ISLAND
"Not you, I know," was my reply.
' ' And right you was, " he cried. ' ' Now you -~. irhat
do you call yourself, mate ?"
"Jim," I told him.
"Jim, Jim," says he, quite pleased apparently. "Well,
now, Jim, I've lived that rough as you'd be ashamed to
hear of. Now, for instance, you wouldn't think I had
had a pious mother — to look at me?" he asked.
"Why, no, not in particular," I answered.
' 'Ah, well," said he, "but I had — remarkable pious.
And I was a civil, pious boy, and could rattle off my
catechism that fast, as you couldn't tell one word from
another. And here's what it come to, Jim, and it be-
gun with chuck-farthen on the blessed grave-stones!
That's what it begun with, but it went further'n that;
and so my mother told me, and predicked the whole,
she did, the pious woman! But it were Providence
that put me here. I've thought it all out in this here
lonely island, and I'm back on piety. You don't catch
me tasting rum so much; but just a thimbleful for luck,
of course, the first chance I have. I'm bound I'll be
good, and I see the way to. And, Jim " — looking all
round him, and lowering his voice to a whisper — " I'm
I now felt sure that the poor fellow had gone crazy
in his solitude, and I suppose I must have shown the
feeling in my face; for he repeated the statement
"Rich! rich! I says. And I'll tell you what: I'll
make a man of you, Jim. Ah, Jim, you'll bless your
stars, you will, you was the first that found me! "
And at this there came suddenly a lowering shadow
over his face, and he tightened his grasp upon my hand,
and raised a forefinger threateningly before my eyes.
" Now, Jim, you tell me true : that ain't Flint's ship ? "
At this I had a happy inspiration. I began to believe
that I had found an ally, and I answered him at once.
"It's not Flint's ship, and Flint is dead; but I'll tell
you true, as you ask me — there are some of Flint's hands
aboard; worse luck for the rest of us/'
"Not a man — with one — leg?" he gasped.
"Silver?" I asked.
"Ah, Silver!" says he; "that were his name."
"He's the cook; and the ringleader, too."
He was still holding me by the wrist, and at that he
gave it quite a wring.
"If you was sent by Long John," he said, "I'm as
good as pork, and I know it. But where was you, do
you suppose ? "
I had made my mind up in a moment, and by way of
answer told him the whole story of our voyage, and the
predicament in which we found ourselves. He heard
me with the keenest interest, and when I had done he
patted me on the head.
"You're a good lad, Jim," he said; "and you're all
in a clove hitch, ain't you ? Well, you just put your
trust in Ben Gunn — Ben Gunn's the man to do it.
Would you think it likely, now, that your squire would
prove a liberal-minded one in case of help — him being
in a clove hitch, as you remark ?"
I told him the squire was the most liberal of men.
"Ay, but you see," returned Ben Gunn, "I didn't
mean giving me a gate to keep, and a shuit of livery
THE MAN OF THE ISLAND
clothes, and such; that's not my mark, Jim. What I
mean is, would he be likely to come down to the toon
of, say one thousand pounds out of money that's as good
as a man's own already ? "
" I am sure he would," said I. "As it was, all hands
were to share."
"And a passage home?" he added, with a look of
"Why," I cried, "the squire's a gentleman. And
besides, if we got rid of the others, we should want you
to help work the vessel home."
"Ah," said he, "so you would." And he seemed
very much relieved.
"Now, I'll tell you what," he went on. "So much
I'll tell you, and no more. I were in Flint's ship when
he buried the treasure; he and six along — six strong
seamen. They was ashore nigh on a week, and us
standing off and on in the old Walrus. One fine day
up went the signal, and here come Flint by himself in a
little boat, and his head done up in a blue scarf. The
sun was getting up, and mortal white he looked about
the cutwater. But, there he was, you mind, and the
six all dead — dead and buried. How he done it, not a
man aboard us could make out. It was battle, murder,
and sudden death, leastways — him against six. Billy
Bones was the mate; Long John, he was quartermaster;
and they asked him where the treasure was. 'Ah,' says
he, 'you can go ashore, if you like, and stay,' he says;
* but as for the ship, she'll beat up for more, by thunder ! '
That's what he said.
"Well, I was in another ship three years back, and
we sighted this island. 'Boys,' said I, 'here's Flint's
treasure*; let's land and find it/ The cap'n was dis-
pleased at that ; but my messmates were all of a mind,
and landed. Twelve days they looked for it, and every
day they had the worse word for me, until one fine
morning all hands went aboard. 'As for you, Benjamin
Gunn/ says they, 'here's a musket/ they says, 'and a
spade, and pickaxe. You can stay here, and find Flint's
money for yourself,' they says.
" Well, Jim, three years have I been here, and not a
bite of Christian diet from that day to this* But now,
you look here ; look at me, Do I look like a man be-
fore the mast ? No, says you. Nor I weren't, neither,
And with that he winked and pinched me hard.
"Just you mention them words to your squire, Jim "
— he went on: "Nor he weren't, neither — that's the
words. Three years he were the man of this island,
light and dark, fair and rain ; and sometimes he would,
maybe, think upon a prayer (says you), and sometimes
he would, maybe, think of his old mother, so be as she's
alive (you'll say) ; but the most part of Gunn's time (this
is what you'll say) — the most part of his time was took
up with another matter. And then you'll give him a
nip, like I do."
And he pinched me again in the most confidential
"Then," he continued — "then you'll up, and you'll
say this : — Gunn is a good man (you'll say), and he puts
a precious sight more confidence — a precious sight,
mind that — in a gen'leman born than in these gen'le-
men of fortune, having been one hisself."
" WeH," I said, "I don't understand ons word that
THE MAN OF THE ISLAND
you've been saying. But that's neither here nor there;
for how am I to get on board ? "
"Ah," said he, "that's the hitch, for sure. Well,
there's my boat, that I made with my two hands. I
keep her under the white rock. If the worst come to
the worst, we might try that after dark. Hi ! " he broke
out, "what's that?"
For just then, although the sun had still an hour or
two to run, all the echoes of the island awoke and bel-
lowed to the thunder of a cannon.
1 ' They have begun to fight ! " I cried. " Follow me. "
And I began to run towards the anchorage, my ter-
rors all forgotten ; while, close at my side, the marooned
man in his goatskins trotted easily and lightly.
"Left, left," says he; "keep to your left hand, mate
Jim ! Under the trees with you ! Theer's where I killed
my first goat They don't come down here now;
they're all mastheaded on them mountings for the fear of
Benjamin Gunn. Ah ! and there's the cetemery " — cem-
etery, he must have meant. "You see the mounds? I
come here and prayed, nows and thens, when I thought
maybe a Sunday would be about doo. It weren't quite
a chapel, but it seemed more solemn like; and then,
says you, Ben Gunn was short-handed — no chapling,
nor so much as a Bible and a flag, you says."
So he kept talking as I ran, neither expecting nor re-
ceiving any answer.
The cannon-shot was followed, after a considerable
interval, by a volley of small arms.
Another pause, and then, not a quarter of a mile in
front of me, I beheld the Union Jack flutter in the air
above a wood.
NARRATIVE CONTINUED BY THE DOCTOR*. HOW THE SHIP
IT was about half-past one — three bells in the sea
phrase — that the two boats went ashore from the
Hispaniola. The captain, the squire, and I were talking
matters over in the cabin. Had there been a breath of
wind, we should have fallen on the six mutineers who
were left aboard with us, slipped our cable, and away
to sea. But the wind was wanting; and, to complete
our helplessness, down came Hunter with the news that
Jim Hawkins had slipped into a boat and was gone
ashore with the rest.
It never occurred to us to doubt Jim Hawkins; but
we were alarmed for his safety. With the men in the
temper they were in, it seemed an even chance if we
should see the lad again. We ran on deck. The pitch
was bubbling in the seams ; the nasty stench of the place
turned me sick ; if ever a man smelt fever and dysentery,
it was in that abominable anchorage. The six scoun-
drels were sitting grumbling under a sail in the fore-
castle ; ashore we could gee the gigs made fast, and a
man sitting in each, hard by where the river runs in.
One of them was whistling "Lillibullero."
Waiting was a strain ; and it was decided that Hunter
and I should go ashore with the jolly-boat in quest of
The gigs had leaned to their right; but Hunter and I
pulled straight in, in the direction of the stockade upon
the chart. The two who were left guarding their boats
seemed in a bustle at our appearance; " Lillibullero "
stopped off, and I could see the pair discussing what
they ought to do. Had they gone and told Silver, all
might have turned out differently ; but they had their
orders, I suppose, and decided to sit quietly where they
were and hark back again to " Lillibullero."
There was a slight bend in the coast, and I steered so
as to put it between us ; even before we landed we had
thus lost sight of the gigs. I jumped out and came as
near running as I durst, with a big silk handkerchief
under my hat for coolness* sake, and a brace of pistols
ready primed for safety.
I had not gone a hundred yards when I reached the
This was how it was : a spring of clear water rose
almost at the top of a knoll. Well, on the knoll, and
enclosing the spring, they had clapped a stout log-
house, fit to hold two score of people on a pinch, and
loopholed for musketry on every side. All round this
they had cleared a wide space, and then the thing was
completed by a paling six feet high, without door or
opening, too strong to pull down without time and
labour, and too open to shelter the besiegers. The peo-
ple in the log-house had them in everyway; they stood
quiet in shelter and shot the others like partridges. All
they wanted was a good watch and food ; for, short of
a complete surprise, they might have held the place
against a regiment.
What particularly took my fancy was the spring.
HOW THE SHIP WAS ABANDONED
For, though we had a good enough place of it in the
cabin of the Hispaniola, with plenty of arms and ammu-
nition, and things to eat, and excellent wines, there had
been one thing overlooked — we had no water. I was
thinking this over, when there came ringing over the
island the cry of a man at the point of death. I was
not new to violent death — I have served his Royal
Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and got a wound
myself at Fontenoy — but I know my pulse went dot
and carry one. "Jim Hawkins is gone," was my first
It is something to have been an old soldier, but more
still to have been a doctor. There is no time to dilly-
dally in our work. And so now I made up my mind
instantly, and with no time lost returned to the shore,
and jumped on board the jolly-boat
By good fortune Hunter pulled a good oar. We made
the water fly ; and the boat was soon alongside, and I
aboard the schooner.
I found them all shaken, as was natural. The squire
was sitting down, as white as a sheet, thinking of the
harm he had led us to, the good soul ! and one of the six
forecastle hands was little better.
"There's a man," says Captain Smollett, nodding
towards him, " new to this work. He came nigh-hand
fainting, doctor, when he heard the cry. Another touch
of the rudder and that man would join us."
I told my plan to the captain, and between us we
settled on the details of its accomplishment.
We put old Redruth in the gallery between the cabin
and the forecastle, with three or four loaded muskets
and a mattress for protection. Hunter brought the boat
round under the stern-port, and Joyce and I set to work
loading her with powder-tins, muskets, bags of biscuits,
kegs of pork, a cask of cognac, and my invaluable medi-
In the meantime, the squire and the captain stayed on
deck, and the latter hailed the coxswain, who was the
principal man aboard.
"Mr. Hands," he said, "here are two of us with a
brace of pistols each. If any one of you six makes
a signal of any description, that man's dead."
They were a good deal taken aback; and, after a little
consultation, one and all tumbled down the fore com-
panion, thinking, no doubt, to take us on the rear. But
when they saw Redruth waiting for them in the sparred
gallery, they went about ship at once, and a head popped
out again on deck.
"Down, dog!" cries the captain.
And the head popped back again ; and we heard no
more, for the time, of these six very faint-hearted seamen.
By this time, tumbling things in as they came, we had
the jolly-boat loaded as much as we dared. Joyce and
I got out through the stern-port, and we made for shore
again, as fast as oars could take us.
This second trip fairly aroused the watchers along
shore. " Lillibullero " was dropped again; and just
before we lost sight of them behind the little point, one
of them whipped ashore and disappeared. I had half a
mind to change my plan and destroy their boats, but I
feared that Silver and the others might be close at hand,
and all might very well be lost by trying for too much.
We had soon touched land in the same place as before,
and set to provision the block house. All three made
HOW THE SHIP WAS ABANDONED
the first journey, heavily laden, and tossed our stores
over the palisade. Then, leaving Joyce to guard them
— one man, to be sure, but with half a dozen muskets —
Hunter and I returned to the jolly-boat, and loaded our-
selves once more. So we proceeded without pausing
to take breath, till the whole cargo was bestowed, when
the two servants took up their position in the block
house, and I, with all my power, sculled back to the
That we should have risked a second boat-load seems
more daring than it really was. They had the advan-
tage of numbers, of course, but we had the advantage
of arms. Not one of the men ashore had a musket, and
before they could get within range for pistol shooting,
we flattered ourselves we should be able to give a good
account of a half-dozen at least.
The squire was waiting for me at the stern window,
all his faintness gone from him. He caught the painter
and made it fast, and we fell to loading the boat for our
very lives. Pork, powder, and biscuit was the cargo,
with only a musket and a cutlass apiece for the squire
and me and Redruth and the captain. The rest of the
arms and powder we dropped overboard in two fathoms
and a half of water, so that we could see the bright steel
shining far below us in the sun, on the clean, sandy
By this time the tide was beginning to ebb, and the
ship was swinging round to her anchor. Voices were
heard faintly halloaing in the direction of the two gigs ;
and though this reassured us for Joyce and Hunter, who
were well to the eastward, it warned our party to be off.
Redruth retreated from his place in the gallery, and
dropped into the boat, which we then brought round to
the ship's counter, to be handier for Captain Smollett.
"Now, men," said he, "do you hear me?"
There was no answer from the forecastle.
" It's to you, Abraham Gray — it's to you I am speak-
Still no reply.
" Gray," resumed Mr. Smollett, a little louder, " I am
leaving this ship, and I order you to follow your captain.
I know you are a good man at bottom, and I daresay
not one of the lot of you's as bad as he makes out. I
have my watch here in my hand ; I give you thirty sec-
onds to join me in."
There was a pause.
"Come, my fine fellow," continued the captain,
" don't hang so long in stays. I'm risking my life, and
the lives of these good gentlemen, every second."
There was a sudden scuffle, a sound of blows, and
out burst Abraham Gray with a knife-cut on the side of
the cheek, and came running to the captain, like a dog
to the whistle.
" I'm with you, sir," said he.
And the next moment he and the captain had dropped
aboard of us, and we had shoved off and given way.
We were clear out of the ship ; but not yet ashore in
NARRATIVE CONTINUED BY THE DOCTOR: THE JOULY-
BOAT's LAST TRIP
This fifth trip was quite different from any of the
others. In the first place, the little gallipot of a boat
that we were in was gravely overloaded. Five grown
men, and three of them — Trelawney, Redruth, and the
captain — over six feet high, was already more than she
was meant to carry. Add to that the powder, pork,
and bread-bags. The gunwale was lipping astern.
Several times we shipped a little water, and my breeches
and the tails of my coat were all soaking wet before we
had gone a hundred yards.
The captain made us trim the boat, and we got her
to lie a little more evenly. All the same, we were afraid
In the second place, the ebb was now making — a
strong rippling current running westward through the
basin, and then south ard and seaward down the straits
by which we had entered in the morning. Even the
ripples were a danger to our overloaded craft; but the
worst of it was that we were swept out of our true
course, and away from our proper landing-place behind
the point. If we let the current have its way we should
come ashore beside the gigs, where the pirates might
appear at any moment.
" I cannot keep her head for the stockade, sir," said
I to the captain. I was steering, while he and Redruth,
two fresh men, were at the oars. "The tide keeps
washing her down. Could you pull a little stronger ?"
"Not without swamping the boat," said he. "You
must bear up, sir, if you please — bear up until you see
I tried, and found by experiment that the tide kept
sweeping us westward until I had laid her head due
east, or just about right angles to the way we ought to go.
"Well never get ashore at this rate/* said I.
" If it's the only course that we can lie, sir, we must
even lie it," returned the captain. "We must keep up-
stream. You see, sir," he went on, ' ' if once we dropped
to leeward of the landing-place, it's hard to say where we
should get ashore, besides the chance of being boarded
by the gigs ; whereas, the way we go the current must
slacken, and then we can dodge back along the shore."
" The current's less a' ready, sir," said the man Gray,
who was sitting in the fore-sheets ; "you can ease her
off a bit."
"Thank you, my man," said I, quite as if nothing
had happened ; for we had all quietly made up our
minds to treat him like one of ourselves.
Suddenly the captain spoke up again, and I thought
his voice was a little changed.
"The gun!" said he.
"I have thought of that," said I, for ! made sure he
was thinking of a bombardment of the fort. "They
could never get the gun ashore, and if they did, they
could never haul it through the woods."
"Look astern, doctor," replied the captain.
THE JOLLY-BOAT'S LAST TRIP
We had entirely forgotten the long nine ; and there,
to our horror, were the five rogues busy about her, get-
ting off her jacket, as they called the stout tarpaulin cover
under which she sailed. Not only that, but it flashed
into my mind at the same moment that the round-shot
and the powder for the gun had been left behind, and a
stroke with an axe would put it all into the possession
of the evil ones aboard.
"Israel was Flint's gunner/' said Gray, hoarsely.
At any risk, we put the boat's head direct for the
landing-place. By this time we had got so far out of
the run of the current that we kept steerage way even
at our necessarily gentle rate of rowing, and I could keep
her steady for the goal. But the worst of it was, that
with the course I now held, we turned our broadside
instead of our stern to the Hispaniola, and offered a tar-
get like a barn door.
I could hear, as well as see, that brandy-faced rascal,
Israel Hands, plumping down a round-shot on the deck,
" Who's the best shot?" asked the captain.
"Mr. Trelawney, out and away," said I.
" Mr. Trelawney, will you please pick me off one of
these men, sir? Hands, if possible," said the captain.
Trelawney was as cool as steel. He looked to the
priming of his gun.
" Now," cried the captain, " easy with that gun, sir,
or you'll swamp the boat. All hands stand by to trim
her when he aims."
The squire raised his gun, the rowing ceased, and we
leaned over to the other side to keep the balance, and
all was so nicely contrived that we did not ship a drop.
They had the gun, by this time, slewed round upon
the swivel and Hands, who was at the muzzle with the
rammer, was, in consequence, the most exposed. How-
ever, we had no luck ; for just as Trelawney fired, down
he stooped, the ball whistled over him, and it was one
of the other four who fell.
The cry he gave was echoed, not only by his com-
panions on board, but by a great number of voices from
the shore, and looking in that direction I saw the other
pirates trooping out from among the trees and tumbling
into their places in the boats.
"Here come the gigs, sir," said I.
" Give way then," cried the captain. " We mustn't
mind if we swamp her now. If we can't get ashore,
" Only one of the gigs is being manned, sir," I added,
"the crew of the other most likely going round by
shore to cut us off."
"They'll have a hot run, sir," returned the captain*
"Jack ashore, you know» It's not them I mind; it's the
round-shot. Carpet bowls ! My lady's maid couldn't
miss. Tell us, squire, when you see the match, and
we'll hold water."
In the meanwhile we had been making headway at a
good pace for a boat so overloaded, and we had shipped
but little water in the process. We were now close in;
thirty or forty strokes and we should beach her; for the
ebb had already disclosed a narrow belt of sand below
the clustering trees. The gig was no longer to be
feared ; the little point had already concealed it from our
eyes. The ebb-tide, which had so cruelly delayed us,
was now making reparation, and delaying our assail-
ants. The one source of danger was the gun.
THE JOLLY-BOAT'S LAST TRIP
" If I durst," said the captain, " I'd stop and pick off
But it was plain that they meant nothing should de-
lay their shot. They had never so much as looked at
their fallen comrade, though he was not dead, and I
could see him trying to crawl away.
"Ready!" cried the squire.
" Hold! " cried the captain, quick as an echo.
And he and Redruth backed with a great heave that
sent her stern«bodily under water. The report fell in at
the same instant of time. This was the first that Jim
heard, the sound of the squire's shot not having reached
him. Where the ball passed, not one of us precisely
knew ; but I fancy it must have been over our heads,
and that the wind of it may have contributed to our
At any rate, the boat sank by the stern, quite gently,
in three feet of water, leaving the captain and myself,
facing each other, on our feet. The other three took
complete headers, and came up again, drenched and
So far there was no great harm. No lives were lost,
and we could wade ashore in safety. But there were
all our stores at the bottom, and, to make things worse,
only two guns out of five remained in a state for ser-
vice. Mine I had snatched from my knees and held
over my head, by a sort of instinct. As for the captain,
he had carried his over his shoulder by a bandoleer, and,
like a wise man, lock uppermost. The other three had
gone down with the boat.
To add to our concern, we heard voices already draw-
ing near us in the woods along shore ; and we had not
only the danger of being cut off from the stockade in
our half-crippled state, but the fear before us whether,
if Hunter and Joyce were attacked by half a dozen, they
would have the sense and conduct to stand firm. Hun-
ter was steady, that we knew ; Joyce was a doubtful
case — a pleasant, polite man for a valet, and to brush
one's clothes, but not entirely fitted for a man of war.
With all this in our minds, we waded ashore as fast
as we could, leaving behind us the poor jolly-boat, and
a good half of all our powder and provisions.
NARRATIVE CONTINUED BY THE DOCTOR: END OF THE
FIRST DAY'S FIGHTING
We made our best speed across the strip of wood that
now divided us from the stockade ; and at every step
we took the voices of the buccaneers rang nearer. Soon
we could hear their footfalls as they ran, and the cracking
of the branches as they breasted across a bit of thicket.
I began to see we should have a brush for it in ear-
nest, and looked to my priming.
* ' Captain, " said I, • ' Trelawney is the dead shot. Give
him your gun; his own is useless."
They exchanged guns, and Trelawney, silent and coo!
as he had been since the beginning of the bustle, hung
a moment on his heel to see that all was fit for service.
At the same time, observing Gray to be unarmed, I
handed him my cutlass. It did all our hearts good to
see him spit in his hand, knit his brows, and make the
blade sing through the air. It was plain from every line
of his body that our new hand was worth his salt.
Forty paces farther we came to the edge of the wood
and saw the stockade in front of us. We struck the en-
closure about the middle of the south side, and, almost
at the same time, seven mutineers — Job Anderson, the
boatswain, at their head — appeared in full cry at the
They paused, as if taken abacL ; and before they re-
covered, not only the squire and I, but Hunter and Joyce
from the block house, had time to fire. The four shots
came in rather a scattering volley ; but they did the busi-
ness: one of the enemy actually fell, and the rest, with-
out hesitation, turned and plunged into the trees.
After reloading, we walked down the outside of the
palisade to see to the fallen enemy. He was stone dead
— shot through the heart.
We began to rejoice over our good success, when just
at that moment a pistol cracked in the bush, a ball
whistled close past my ear, and poor Tom Redruth
stumbled and fell his length on the ground. Both the
squire and I returned the shot; but as we had nothing
to aim at, it is probable we only wasted powder. Then
we reloaded, and turned our attention to poor Tom.
The captain and Gray were already examining him ;
and I saw with half an eye that all was over.
I believe the readiness of our return volley had scat-
tered the mutineers once more, for we were suffered
without further molestation to get the poor old game-
keeper hoisted over the stockade, and carried, groaning
and bleeding, into the log-house.
Poor old fellow, he had not uttered one word of sur-
prise, complaint, fear, or even acquiescence, from the
very beginning of our troubles till now, when we had
laid him down in the log-house to die. He had lain
like a Trojan behind his mattress in the gallery ; he had
fol!owed every order silently, doggedly, and well; he
was the oldest of our party by a score of years ; and
now, sullen, old, serviceable servant, it was he that was
END OF THE FIRST DAY'S FIGHTING
The squire dropped down beside him on his knees and
kissed his hand, crying like a child.
" Be I going, doctor ?" he asked.
"Tom, my man," said I, "you're going home."
"I wish I had had a lick at them with the gun first,"
"Tom," said the squire, "say you forgive me, won'*
"Would that be respectful like, from me to you,
squire?" was the answer. "Howsoever, so be it,
amen ! "
After a little while of silence, he said he thought some-
body might read a prayer. "It's the custom, sir," he
added, apologetically. And not long after, without an-
other word, he passed away.
In the meantime the captain, whom I had observed to
be wonderfully swollen about the chest and pockets, had
turned out a great many various stores — the British col-
ours, a Bible, a coil of stoutish rope, pen, ink, the log-
book, and pounds of tobacco. He had found a longish
fir-tree lying felled and trimmed in the enclosure, and,
with the help of Hunter, he had set it up at the corner
of the log-house where the trunks crossed and made an
angle. Then, climbing on the roof, he had with his own
hand bent and run up the colours.
This seemed mightily to relieve him. He re-entered
the log-house, and set about counting up the stores, as
if nothing else existed. But he had an eye on Tom's
passage for all that; and as soon as all was over, came
forward with another flag, and reverently spread it on
1 ■ Don't you take on, sir, " he said, shaking the squire's
hand. ''All's well with him; no fear for a hand that's
been shot down in his duty to captain and owner. It
mayn't be good divinity, but it's a fact."
Then he pulled me aside.
"Dr. Livesey," he said, "in how many weeks do
you and squire expect the consort?"
I told him it was a question, not of weeks, but of
months ; that if we were not back by the end of August,
Blandly was to send to find us ; but neither sooner nor
later. "You can calculate for yourself," I said.
"Why, yes," returned the captain, scratching his
head, "and making a large allowance, sir, for all the
gifts of Providence, I should say we were pretty close
" How do you mean ? " I asked.
"It's a pity, sir, we lost that second load. That's
what I mean," replied the captain. "As for powder
and shot, we'll do. But the rations are short, very
short — so short, Doctor Livesey, that we're, perhaps,
as well without that extra mouth."
And he pointed to the dead body under the flag.
Just then, with a roar and a whistle, a round-shot
passed high above the roof of the log-house and plumped
far beyond us in the wood.
"Oho!" said the captain. "Blaze away! You've
little enough powder already, my lads."
At the second trial, the aim was better, and the ball
descended inside the stockade, scattering a cloud of sand,
but doing no further damage.
"Captain," said the squire, "the house is quite in-
visible from the ship. It must be the flag they are aim-
ing at. Would it not be wiser to take it in ? "
END OF THE FIRST DAY'S FIGHTING
"Strike my colours I" cried the captain. "No, sir,
not I ; " and, as soon as he had said the words, I think
we all agreed with him. For it was not only a piece
of stout, seamanly, good feeling; it was good policy
besides, and showed our enemies that we despised their
All through the evening they kept thundering away.
Ball after ball flew over or fell short, or kicked up the
sand in the enclosure ; but they had to fire so high that
the shot fell dead and buried itself in the soft sand. We
had no ricochet to fear; and though one popped in
through the roof of the log-house and out again through
the floor, we soon got used to that sort of horse-play,
and minded it no more than cricket.
"There is one thing good about all this," observed
the captain: "the wood in front of us is likely clear.
The ebb has made a good while ; our stores should be
uncovered. Volunteers to go and bring in pork."
Gray and Hunter were the first to come forward.
Well armed, they stole out of the stockade; but it
proved a useless mission. The mutineers were bolder
than we fancied, or they put more trust in Israel's gun-
nery. For four or five of them were busy carrying off
our stores, and wading out with them to one of the
gigs that lay close by, pulling an oar or so to hold her
steady against the current. Silver was in the stern-
sheets in command; and every man of them was now
provided with a musket from some secret magazine of
The captain sat down to his log, and here is the be-
ginning of the entry: —
"Alexander Smollett, master; David Livesey, ship's
doctor; Abraham Gray, carpenter's mate ; JohnTrelaw-
ney, owner; John Hunter and Richard Joyce, owner's
servants, landsmen — being all that is left faithful of the
ship's company — with stores for ten days at short ra-
tions, came ashore this day, and flew British colours on
the log-house in Treasure Island. Thomas Redruth,
owner's servant, landsman, shot by the mutineers ;
James Hawkins, cabin-boy "
And at the same time I was wondering over poor Jim
A hail on the land side.
"Somebody hailing us," said Hunter, who was on
"Doctor! squire! captain! Hullo, Hunter, is that
you ? " came the cries.
And I ran to the door in time to see Jim Hawkins, safe
and sound, come climbing over the stockade.
NARRATIVE RESUMED BY JIM HAWKINS*. THE GARRISON IN
As soon as Ben Gunn saw the colours he came to
a halt, stopped me by the arm, and sat down.
"Now," said he, " there's your friends, sure enough.'*
" Far more likely it's the mutineers," I answered.
" That! " he cried. "Why, in a place like this, where
nobody puts in but gen'lemen of fortune, Silver would
fly the Jolly Roger, you don't make no doubt of that.
No ; that's your friends. There's been blows, too, and
I reckon your friends has had the best of it; and here
they are ashore in the old stockade, as was made years
and years ago by Flint Ah, he was the man to have
a headpiece, was Flint! Barring rum, his match were
never seen. He were afraid of none, not he; on'y Sil-
ver — Silver was that genteel."
"Well," said I, "that may be so, and so be it; all
the more reason that I should hurry on and join my
"Nay, mate," returned Ben, "not you. You're a
good boy, or I'm mistook; but you're on'y a boy, all
told. Now, Ben Gunn is fly. Rum wouldn't bring me
there, where you're going — not rum wouldn't, till I see
your born gen'leman, and gets it on his word of hon-
our. And you won't forget my words: 'A precious
sight (that's what you'll say), a precious sight more
confidence ' — and then nips him."
And he pinched me the third time with the same air
"And when Ben Gunn is wanted, you know where
to find him, Jim. Just wheer you found him to-day.
And him that comes is to have a white thing in his
hand : and he's to come alone. Oh I and you'll say this :
* Ben Gunn,' says you, ' has reasons of his own.' "
"Well," said I, "I believe I understand. You have
something to propose, and you wish to see the squire
or the doctor; and you're to be found where I found
you. Is that all ? "
"And when? says you," he added. "Why, from
about noon observation to about six bells. "
" Good," said I, " and now may I go ?"
" You won't forget ? " he inquired, anxiously. " Pre-
cious sight, and reasons of his own, says you. Reasons
of his own; that's the mainstay; as between man and
man. Well, then " — still holding me — "I reckon you
can go, Jim. And, Jim, if you was to see Silver, you
wouldn't go for to sell Ben Gunn ? wild horses wouldn't
draw it from you ? No, says you. And if them pirates
camp ashore, Jim, what would you say but there'd be
widders in the morning ? "
Here he was interrupted by a loud report, and a
cannon ball came tearing through the trees and pitched
in the sand, not a hundred yards from where we two
were talking. The next moment each of us had taken
to his heels in a different direction.
For a good hour to come frequent reports shook the
island, and balls kept crashing through the woods. I
THE GARRISON IN THE STOCKADE
moved from hiding-place to hiding-place, always pur-
sued, or so it seemed to me, by these terrifying missiles.
But towards the end of the bombardment, though still I
durst not venture in the direction of the stockade, where
the balls fell oftenest, I had begun, in a manner, to pluck
up my heart again ; and after a long detour to the east,
crept down among the shore-side trees.
The sun had just set, the sea breeze was rustling and
tumbling in the woods, and ruffling the grey surface of
the anchorage ; the tide, too, was far out, and great tracts
of sand lay uncovered ; the air, after the heat of the day,
chilled me through my jacket.
The HiSpaniola still lay where she had anchored ; but,
sure enough, there was the Jolly Roger — the black flag
of piracy — flying from her peak. Even as I looked,
there came another red flash and another report, that
sent the echoes clattering, and one more round shot
whistled through the air. It was the last of the can-
I lay for some time, watching the bustle which suc-
ceeded the attack. Men were demolishing something
with axes on the beach near the stockade; the poor
jolly-boat, I afterwards discovered. Away, near the
mouth of the river, a great fire was glowing among the
trees, and between that point and the ship one of the
gigs kept coming and going, the men, whom I had seen
so gloomy, shouting at the oars like children. But there
was a sound in their voices which suggested rum.
At length I thought I might return towards the stock-
ade. I was pretty far down on the low, sandy spit that
encloses the anchorage to the east, and is joined at half-
water to Skeleton Island ; and now, as I rose to my feet
I saw, some distance further down the spit, and rising
from among low bushes, an isolated rock, pretty high,
and peculiarly white in colour. It occurred to me that
this might be the white rock of which Ben Gunn had
spoken, and that some day or other a boat might be
wanted, and I should know where to look for one.
Then I skirted among the woods until I had regained
the rear, or shoreward side, of the stockade, and was
soon warmly welcomed by the faithful party.
I had soon told my story, and began to look about me.
The log-house was made of unsquared trunks of pine
— roof, walls, and floor. The latter stood in several
places as much as a foot or a foot and a half above the
surface of the sand. There was a porch at the door,
and under this porch the little spring welled up into an
artificial basin of a rather odd kind — no other than a
great ship's kettle of iron, with the bottom knocked out,
and sunk " to her bearings/' as the captain said, among
Little had been left beside the framework of the house ;
but in one corner there was a stone slab laid down by
way of hearth, and an old rusty iron basket to contain
The slopes of the knoll and all the inside of the stock-
ade had been cleared of timber to build the house, and
we could see by the stumps what a fine and lofty grove
had been destroyed. Most of the soil had been w T ashed
away or buried in drift after the removal of the trees ;
only where the streamlet ran down from the kettle a
thick bed of moss and some ferns and little creeping
bushes were still green among the sand. Very close
around the stockade — too close for defence, they said
THE GARRISON IN THE STOCKADE
— the wood still flourished high and dense, all of fir on
the land side, but towards the sea with a large admix-
ture of live-oaks.
The cold evening breeze, of which I have spoken,
whistled through every chink of the rude building, and
sprinkled the floor with a continual rain of fine sand.
There was sand in our eyes, sand in our teeth, sand in
our suppers, sand dancing in the spring at the bottom of
the kettle, for all the world like porridge beginning to
boil. Our chimney was a square hole in the roof; it
was but a little part of the smoke that found its way-
out, and the rest eddied about the house, and kept us
coughing and piping the eye.
Add to this that Gray, the new man, had his face tied
up in a bandage for a cut he had got in breaking away
from the mutineers; and that poor old Tom Redruth,
still unburied, lay along the wall, stiff and stark, under
the Union Jack.
If we had been allowed to sit idle, we should all
have fallen in the blues, but Captain Smollett was never
the man for that. All hands were called up before him,
and he divided us into watches. The doctor, and Gray,
and I, for one; the squire, Hunter, and Joyce, upon the
other. Tired though we all were, two were sent out
for firewood; two more were set to dig a grave for
Redruth ; the doctor was named cook ; I was put sentry
at the door ; and the captain himself went from one to
another, keeping up our spirits and lending a hand
wherever it was wanted.
From time to time the doctor came to the door for a little
air and to rest his eyes, which were almost smoked out of
his head ; and whenever he did so, he had a word for me.
"That man Smollett," he said once, "is a better man
than I am. And when I say that it means a deal, Jim."
Another time he came and was silent for a while.
Then he put his head on one side, and looked at me.
"Is this Ben Gunn a man ?" he asked.
"I do not know, sir," said I. " I am not very sure
whether he's sane."
"If there's any doubt about the matter, he is," re-
turned the doctor. " A man who has been three years
biting his nails on a desert island, Jim, can't expect to
appear as sane as you or me. It doesn't lie in human
nature. Was it cheese you said he had a fancy for ? "
"Yes, sir, cheese," I answered.
" Well, Jim," says he, "just seethe good that comes
of being dainty in your food. You've seen my snuff-
box, haven't you ? And you never saw me take snuflF;
the reason being that in my snuff-box I carry a piece of
Parmesan cheese — a cheese made in Italy, very nutri-
tious. Well, that's for Ben Gunn! "
Before supper was eaten we buried old Tom in the
sand, and stood round him for a while bare-headed in
the breeze. A good deal of firewood had been got in,
but not enough for the captain's fancy; and he shook
his head over it, and told us we " must get back to this
to-morrow rather livelier." Then, when we had eaten
our pork, and each had a good stiff glass of brandy
grog, the three chiefs got together in a corner to discuss
It appears they were at their wit's end what to do,
the stores being so low that we must have been starved
into surrender long before help came. But our best
hope, it was decided, was to kill off the buccaneers un-
THE GARRISON IN THE STOCKADE
til they either hauled down their flag or ran away with
the Hispaniola. From nineteen they were already re-
duced to fifteen, two others were wounded, and one,
at least — the man shot beside the gun — severely
wounded, if he were not dead. Every time we had a
crack at them, we were to take it, saving our own lives,
with the extremest care. And, besides that, we had
two able allies — rum and the climate.
As for the first, though we were about half a mile
away, we could hear them roaring and singing late into
the night; and as for the second, the doctor staked his
wig that, camped where they were in the marsh, and
unprovided with remedies, the half of them would be
on their backs before a week.
" So," he added, " if we are not all shot down first,
they'll be glad to be packing in the schooner. It's al-
ways a ship, and they can get to buccaneering again, I
"First ship that ever I lost," said Captain Smollett.
I was dead tired, as you may fancy ; and when I got
to sleep, which was not till after a great deal of tossing,
I slept like a log of wood.
The rest had long been up, and had already break-
fasted and increased the pile of firewood by about half
as much again, when I was wakened by a bustle and
the sound of voices.
"Flag of truce!" I heard some one say; and then,
immediately after, with a cry of surprise, "Silver him-
And, at that, up I jumped, and, rubbing my eyes, ran
to a loophole in the wall
Sure enough, there were two men just outside the
stockade, one of them waving a white cloth ; the other,
no less a person than Silver himself, standing placidly by.
It was still quite early, and the coldest morning that
I think I ever was abroad in ; a chill that pierced into the
marrow. The sky was bright and cloudless overhead,
and the tops of the trees shone rosily in the sun. But
where Silver stood with his lieutenant all was still in
shadow, and they waded knee deep in a low, white
vapour that had crawled during the night out of the
morass. The chill and the vapour taken together told a
poor tale of the island. It was plainly a damp, feverish,
" Keep indoors, men," said the captain. " Ten to ©fie
this is a trick."
Then he hailed the buccaneer.
" Who goes ? Stand, or we fire."
"Flag of truce," cried Silver.
The captain was in the porch, keeping himself care-
fully out of the way of a treacherous shot should any be
intended. He turned and spoke to us :
* ' Doctor's watch on the look out. Dr. Livesey, take
the north side, if you please; Jim, the east; Gray, west.
The watch below, all hands to load muskets. Lively,
men, and careful."
And then he turned again to the mutineers.
"And what do you want with your flag of truce?"
This time it was the other man who replied.
"Cap'n Silver, sir, to come on board and make
terms," he shouted.
" Cap'n Silver! Don't know him. Who's he ? " cried
the captain. And we could hear him adding to himself:
" Cap'n, is it ? My heart, and here's promotion! "
Long John answered for himself.
"Me, sir. These poor lads have chosen me cap'n,
after your desertion, sir" — laying a particular emphasis
upon the word * ' desertion. " ' ' We're willing to submit,
if we can come to terms, and no bones about it. All I
ask is your word, Cap'n Smollett, to let me safe and
sound out of this here stockade, and one minute to get
out o' shot before a gun is fired."
"My man," said Captain Smollett, "I have not the
slightest desire to talk to you. If you wish to talk to
me, you can come, that's all. If there's any treachery,
it'll be on your side, and the Lord help you."
" That's enough, cap'n," shouted Longjohn, cheerily.
" A word from you's enough. 1 know a gentleman, and
you may lay to that."
We could see the man who carried the flag of truce
attempting to hold Silver back. Nor was that wonder-
ful, seeing how cavalier had been the captain's answer.
But Silver laughed at him aloud, and slapped him on
the back, as if the idea of alarm had been absurd. Then
he advanced to the stockade, threw over his crutch, got
a leg up, and with great vigour and skill succeeded in
surmounting the fence and dropping safely to the other
I will confess that I was far too much taken up with
what was going on to be of the slightest use as sentry;
indeed, I had already deserted my eastern loophole, and
crept up behind the captain, who had now seated him-
self on the threshold, with his elbows on his knees, his
head in his hands, and his eyes fixed on the water, as it
bubbled out of the old iron kettle in the sand. He was
whistling to himself, "Come, Lasses and Lads."
Silver had terrible hard work getting up the knoll.
What with the steepness of the incline, the thick tree
stumps, and the soft sand, he and his crutch were as
helpless as a ship in stays. But he stuck to it like a man
in silence, and at last arrived before the captain, whom
he saluted in the handsomest style. He was tricked out
in his best; an immense blue coat, thick with brass but-
tons, hung as low as to his knees, and a fine laced hat
was set on the back of his head.
"Here you are, my man," said the captain, raising
his head. " You had better sit down."
"You ain't a-going to let me inside, cap'n?" com-
plained Long John. "It's a main cold morning, to be
sure, sir, to sit outside upon the sand."
"Why, Silver," said the captain, "if you had pleased
to be an honest man, you might have been sitting in
your galley. It's your own doing. You're either my
ship's cook — and then you were treated handsome — or
Cap'n Silver, a common mutineer and pirate, and then
you can go hang!"
"Well, well, cap'n," returned the sea cook, sitting
down as he was bidden on the sand, "you'll have to
give me a hand up again, that's all. A sweet pretty
place you have of it here. Ah, there's Jim ! The top of
the morning to you, Jim. Doctor, here's my service.
Why, there you all are together like a happy family, ir\
a manner of speaking."
" If you have anything to say, my man, better say it,'*
said the captain.
"Right you were, Cap'n Smollett," replied Silver,
"Dooty is dooty, to be sure. Well, now, you look
here, that was a good lay of yours last night. I don't
deny it was a good lay. Some of you pretty handy
with a handspike-end. And I'll not deny neither but
what some of my people was shook — maybe all was
shook; maybe I was shook myself; maybe that's why
I'm here for terms. But you mark me, cap'n, it won't
do twice, by thunder! We'll have to do sentry-go, and
ease off a point or so on the rum. Maybe you think we
were all a sheet in the wind's eye. But I'll tell you I
was sober; I was on'y dog tired; and if I'd awoke a
second sooner I'd 'a' caught you at the act, I would.
He wasn't dead when I got round to him, not he."
"Well ?" says Captain Smollett, as cool as can be.
All that Silver said was a riddle to him, but you would
never have guessed it from his tone. As for me, I began
to have an inkling. Ben Gunn's last words came back
to my mind. I began to suppose that he had paid the
buccaneers a visit while they all lay drunk together round
their fire, and I reckoned up with glee that we had only
fourteen enemies to deal with.
4 ' Well, here it is, " said Silver. ' ' We want that treas-
ure, and we'll have it — that's our point! You would
just as soon save your lives, I reckon ; and ttiat's yours.
You have a chart, haven't you ? "
" That's as may be," replied the captain.
"Oh, well, you have, I know that," returned Long
John. "You needn't be so husky with a man; there
ain't a particle of service in that, and you may lay to it
What I mean is, we want your chart. Now, I never
meant you no harm, myself/'
"That won't do with me, my man," interrupted the
captain. "We know exactly what you meant to do,
and we don't care; for now, you see, you can't do it."
And the captain looked at him calmly, and proceeded
to fill a pipe.
" If Abe Gray " Silver broke out.
" Avast there! " cried Mr. Smollett. " Gray told me
nothing, and I asked him nothing; and what's more, I
would see you and him and this whole island blown
clean out of the water into blazes first. So there's my
mind for you, my man, on that."
This little whiff of temper seemed to cool Silver down.
He had been growing nettled before, but now he pulled
"Like enough," said he. "I would set no limits to
what gentlemen might consider shipshape, or might not,
as the case were. And, seein' as how you are about to
take a pipe, cap'n, I'll make so free as do likewise."
And he filled a pipe and lighted it; and the two men
sat silently smoking for quite a while, now looking each
other in the face, now stopping their tobacco, now lean-
ing forward to spit. It was as good as the play to see
"Now," resumed Silver, "here it is. Yo« give us
the chart to get the treasure by, and drop shooting poor
seamen, and stoving of their heads in while asleep. You
do that, and we'll offer you a choice. Either you come
aboard along of us, once the treasure shipped, and then
111 give you my affy-davy, upon my word of honour,
to clap you somewhere safe ashore. Or, if that ain't to
your fancy, some of my hands being rough, and having
old scores, on account of hazing, then you can stay
here, you can. We'll divide stores with you, man for
man ; and I'll give my afify-davy, as before, to speak the
first ship I sight, and send 'em here to pick you up.
Now you'll own that's talking. Handsomer you couldn't
look to get, not you. And I hope" — raising his voice
— ' ' that all hands in this here block-house will over-
haul my words, for what is spoke to one is spoke to
Captain Smollett rose from his seat, and knocked out
the ashes of his pipe in the palm of his left hand,
"is that all?" he asked.
"Every last word, by thunder!" answered John.
"Refuse that, and you've seen the last of me but mus-
"Very good," said the captain. "Now you'll hear
me. If you'll come up one by one, unarmed, I'll engage
to clap you all in irons, and take you home to a fair trial
in England. If you won't, my name is Alexander Smol-
lett, I've flown my sovereign's colours, and I'll see you
all to Davy Jones. You can't find the treasure. You
can't sail the ship — there's not a man among you fit
to sail the ship. You can't fight us — Gray, there, got
away from five of you. Your ship's in irons, Master
Silver; you're on a lee shore, and so you'll find. I
stand here and tell you so; and they're the last good
words you'H get from me ; for, in the name of heaven,
I'll put a bullet in your back when next I meet you.
Tramp, my lad. Bundle out of this, please, hand over
hand, and double quick."
Silver's face was a picture; his eyes started in his
head with wrath. He shook the fire out of his pipe.
" Give me a hand up ! " he cried.
"Not I," returned the captain.
" Who'll give me a hand up ? " he roared.
Not a man among us moved. Growling the foulest
imprecations, he crawled along the sand till he got hold
of the porch and could hoist himself again upon his
crutch. Then he spat into the spring.
"There ! " he cried, " that's what I think of ye. Be-
fore an hour's out, I'll stove in your old block-house like
a rum puncheon. Laugh, by thunder, laugh ! Before
an hour's out, ye'll laugh upon the other side. Them
that die'll be the lucky ones."
And with a dreadful oath he stumbled off, ploughed
down the sand, was helped across the stockade, after
four or five failures, by the man with the flag of truce,
and disappeared in an instant afterwards among the
As soon as Silver disappeared, the captain, who had
been closely watching him, turned towards the interior
of the house, and found not a man of us at his post
but Gray. It was the first time we had ever seen him
" Quarters !" he roared. And then, as we all slunk
back to our places, "Gray," he said, "I'll put your
name in the log; you've stood by your duty like a sea-
man. Mr. Trelawney, I'm surprised at you, sir. Doc-
tor, 1 thought you had worn the king's coat ! If that
was how you served at Fontenoy, sir, you'd have been
better in your berth."
The doctor's watch were all back at their loopholes,
the rest were busy loading the spare muskets, and every
one with a red face, you may be certain, and a flea in
his ear, as the saying is.
The captain looked on for a while in silence. Then
"My lads," said he, "I've given Silver a broadside.
1 pitched it in red-hot on purpose ; and before the hour's
out, as he said, we shall be boarded. We're outnum-
bered, I needn't tell you that, but we fight in shelter;
and, a minute ago, I should have said we fought with
discipline* I've no manner of doubt that we can drub
them, if you choose/'
Then he went the rounds, and saw, as he said, that
all was clear.
On the two short sides of the house, east and west,
there were only two loopholes ; on the south side where
the porch was, two again ; and on the north side, five.
There was a round score of muskets for the seven of us ;
the firewood had been built into four piles — tables, you
might say — one about the middle of each side, and on
each of these tables some ammunition and four loaded
muskets were laid ready to the hand of the defenders.
In the middle, the cutlasses lay ranged.
"Toss out the fire/' said the captain; "the chill is
past, and we musn't have smoke in our eyes."
The iron fire basket was carried bodily out by Mr.
Trelawney, and the embers smothered among sand.
" Hawkins hasn't had his breakfast. Hawkins, help
yourself, and back to your post to eat it," continued
Captain Smollett. "Lively, now, my lad; you'll want
it before you've done. Hunter, serve out a round of
brandy to all hands."
And while this was going on, the captain completed,
in his own mind, the plan of the defence.
" Doctor, you will take the door," he resumed. "See,
and don't expose yourself; keep within, and fire through
the porch. Hunter, take the east side, there. Joyce,
you stand by the west, my man. Mr. Trelawney, you
are the best shot — you and Gray will take this long north
side, with the five loopholes ; it's there the danger is.
If they can get up to it, and fire in upon us through our
own ports, things would begin to look dirty. Haw-
kins, neither you nor I are much account at the shoot-
ing; we'll stand by to load and bear a hand."
As the captain had said, the chill was past. As soon
as the sun had climbed above our girdle of trees, it fell
with all its force upon the clearing, and drank up the
vapours at a draught. Soon the sand was baking, and
the resin melting in the logs of the blockhouse. Jackets
and coats were flung aside ; shirts thrown open at the
neck, and rolled up to the shoulders; and we stood
there, each at his post, in a fever of heat and anxiety.
An hour passed away.
" Hang them ! " said the captain. " This is as dull as
the doldrums. Gray, whistle for a wind."
And just at that moment came the first news of the
" If you please, sir," said Joyce, "if I see any one am
I to fire? "
" I told you so! " cried the captain.
" Thank you, sir, " returned Joyce, with the same quiet
Nothing followed for a time ; but the remark had set
us all on the alert, straining ears and eyes — the mus-
keteers with their pieces balanced in their hands, the
captain out in the middle of the block-house, with his
mouth very tight and a frown on his face.
So some seconds passed, till suddenly Joyce whipped
up his musket and fired. The report had scarcely died
away ere it was repeated and repeated from without in
a scattering volley, shot behind shot, like a string of
geese, from every side of the enclosure. Several bullets
struck the log-house, but not one entered; and, as the
smoke cleared away and vanished, the stockade and
the woods around it looked as quiet and empty as be-
fore. Not a bough waved, not the gleam of a musket-
barrel betrayed the presence of our foes.
" Did you hit your man ? " asked the captain.
"No, sir," replied Joyce. " I believe not, sir."
"Next best thing to tell the truth," muttered Captain
Smollett "Load his gun, Hawkins. How many
should you say there were on your side, doctor ? "
" I know precisely," said Dr. Livesey. "Three shots
were fired on this side. I saw the three flashes — two
close together — one farther to the west."
"Three!" repeated the captain. "And how many
on yours, Mr. Trelawney ? "
But this was not so easily answered. There had
come many from the north — seven, by the squire's
computation ; eight or nine, according to Gray. From
the east and west only a single shot had been fired. It
was plain, therefore, that the attack would be developed
from the north, and that on the other three sides we
were only to be annoyed by a show of hostilities. But
Captain Smollett made no change in his arrangements.
If the mutineers succeeded in crossing the stockade, he
argued, they would take possession of any unprotected
loophole, and shoot us down like rats in our own strong-
Nor had we much time left to us for thought. Sud-
denly, with a loud huzza, a little cloud of pirates leaped
from the woods on the north side, and ran straight on
the stockade. At the same moment, the fire was once
more opened from the woods, and a rifle ball sang
through the doorway, and knocked the doctor's musket
The boarders swarmed over the fence like monkeys.
Squire and Gray fired again and yet again ; three men
fell, one forwards into the enclosure, two back on the
outside. But of these, one was evidently more fright-
ened than hurt, for he was on his feet again in a crack,
and instantly disappeared among the trees.
Two had bit the dust, one had fled, four had made
good their footing inside our defences ; while from the
shelter of the woods seven or eight men, each evidently
supplied with several muskets, kept up a hot though
useless fire on the log-house.
The four who had boarded made straight before them
for the building, shouting as they ran, and the men
among the trees shouted back to encourage them. Sev-
eral shots were fired; but, such was the hurry of the
marksmen, not one appears to have taken effect. In a
moment, the four pirates had swarmed up the mound
and were upon us.
The head of job Anderson, the boatswain, appeared
at the middle loophole.
"At 'em, all hands — all hands! " he roared, in a voice
At the same moment,, another pirate grasped Hunter's
musket by the muzzle, wrenched it from his hands,
plucked it through the loophole, and, with one stunning
blow, laid the poor fellow senseless on the floor. Mean-
while a third, running unharmed all round the house,
appeared suddenly in the doorway, and fell with his
cutlass on the doctor.
Our position was utterly reversed. A moment since
we were firing, under cover, at an exposed enemy; now it
was we who lay uncovered, and could not return a Mow.
The log-house was full of smoke, to which we owed
@uy comparative safety. Cries and confusion, the flashes
and reports of pistol shots, and one loud groan, rang in
"Out, lads, out, and fight 'em in the open! Cut-
lasses! " cried the captain.
I snatched a cutlass from the pile, and some ©ne, at
the same time snatching another, gave me a cut across
the knuckles which I hardly felt. I dashed out of the
door into the clear sunlight. Some one was close be-
hind, 1 knew not whom. Right in front, the doctor
was pursuing his assailant down the hill, and, just as
my eyes fell upon him, beat down his guard, and sent
him sprawling on his back, with a great slash across the
" Round the house, lads! round the house! " cried the
captain ; and even in the hurly-burly 1 perceived a change
in his voice.
Mechanically, I obeyed, turned eastwards, and with
my cutlass raised, ran round the corner of the house.
Next moment I was face to face with Anderson. He
roared aloud, and his hanger went up above his head,
flashing in the sunlight. I had not time to be afraid, but,
as the blow still hung impending, leaped in a trice upon
one side, and missing my foot in the soft sand, rolled
headlong down the slope.
When 1 had first sallied from the door, the other mu-
tineers had been already swarming up the palisade to
make an end of us. One man, in a red night-cap, with
his cutlass in his mouth, had even got upon the top and
thrown a leg across. Well, so short had been the in-
terval, that when I found my feet again aH was in the
"GRAY, FOLLOWING CLOSE BEHIND ME, HAD CUT DOWN THE
same posture, the fellow with the red night-cap still
halfway over, another still just showing his head above
the top of the stockade. And yet, in this breath of time,
the fight was over, and the victory was ours.
Gray, following close behind me, had cut down the
big boatswain ere he had time to recover from his lost
blow. Another had been shot at a loophole in the very
act of firing into the house, and now lay in agony, the
pistol stifl smoking in his hand. A third, as I had seen,
the doctor had disposed of at a blow. Of the four who
had scaled the palisade, one only remained unaccounted
for, and he, having left his cutlass on the field, was now
clambering out again with the fear of death upon him.
"Fire — fire from the house! " cried the doctor. "And
you, lads, back into cover. "
But his words were unheeded, no shot was fired, and
the last boarder made good his escape, and disappeared
with the rest into the wood. In three seconds nothing
remained of the attacking party but the five who had
fallen, four on the inside, and one on the outside, of the
The doctor and Gray and I ran full speed for shelter.
The survivors would soon be back where they had left
their muskets, and at any moment the fire might recom-
The house was by this time somewhat cleared of
smoke, and we saw at a glance the price we had paid
for victory. Hunter lay beside his loophole, stunned;
Joyce by his, shot through the head, never to move
again ; while right in the centre, the squire was support-
ing the captain, one as pale as the other.
"The captain's wounded/' said Mr. Trelawney.
tl Have they run ? " asked Mr. Smollett
"All that could, you may be bound," returned the
doctor; "but there's five of them will never run again.''
1 ' Five ! " cried the captain. ' ' Come, that's better. Five
against three leaves us four to nine. That's better odds
than we had at starting. We were seven to nineteen
then, or thought we were, and that's as bad to bear." *
* The mutineers were soon only eight in number, for the man shot by
Mr. Trelawney on board the schooner died that same evening of his
wound. But this was, of course, not known till after by the faithful
MY SEA ADVENTURE
HOW MY SEA ADVENTURE BEGAN
THERE was no return of the mutineers — not so
much as another shot out of the woods. They
had " got their rations for that day " as the captain put it,
and we had the place to ourselves and a quiet time to
overhaul the wounded and get dinner. Squire and I
cooked outside in spite of the danger, and even outside
we could hardly tell what we were at, for horror of the
loud groans that reached us from the doctor's patients.
Out of the eight men who had fallen in the action,
only three still breathed — that one of the pirates who
had been shot at the loophole, Hunter, and Captain
Smollett; and of these the first two were as good as
dead; the mutineer, indeed, died under the doctor's
knife, and Hunter, do what we could, never recovered
consciousness in this world. He lingered all day, breath-
ing loudly like the old buccaneer at home in his apo-
plectic fit; but the bones of his chest had been crushed
by the blow and his skull fractured in falling, and some
time in the following night, without sign or sound, he
went to his Maker.
As for the captain, his wounds were grievous indeed,
but not dangerous. No organ was fatally injured. An-
derson's bail — for it was Job that shot him first — had
broken his shoulder-blade and touched the lung, not
badly; the second had only torn and displaced some
muscles in the calf. He was sure to recover, the doctor
said, but in the meantime and for weeks to come, he
must not walk nor move his arm, nor so much as speak
when he could help it.
My own accidental cut across the knuckles was a flea-
bite. Doctor Livesey patched it up with plaster, and
pulled my ears for me into the bargain.
After dinner the squire and the doctor sat by the cap-
tain's side a while in consultation ; and when they had
talked to their hearts' content, it being then a little past
noon, the doctor took up his hat and pistols, girt on a
cutlass, put the chart in his pocket, and with a musket
over his shoulder, crossed the palisade on the north side,
and set off briskly through the trees.
Gray and I were sitting together at the far end of the
block-house, to be out of earshot of our officers con-
sulting ; and Gray took his pipe out of his mouth and
fairly forgot to put it back again, so thunder-struck he
was at this occurrence.
" Why, in the name of Davy Jones/' said he, " is Dr.
Livesey mad ? "
' ' Why, no, " says I. ' ' He's about the last of this crew
for that, I take it."
" Well, shipmate," said Gray, "mad he may not be;
but if he's not, you mark my words, I am."
"I take it," replied I, "the doctor has his idea; and
if I am right, he's going now to see Ben Gunn."'
I was right, as appeared later ; but, in the meantime,
the house being stifling hot, and the little patch of sand
inside the palisade ablaze with midday sun, I began to
HOW MY SEA ADVENTURE BEGAN
get another thought into my head, which was not by
any means so right. What I began to do was to envy
the doctor, walking in the cool shadow of the woods,
with the birds about him, and the pleasant smell of the
pines, while I sat grilling, with my clothes stuck to the
hot resin, and so much blood about me, and so many
poor dead bodies lying all around, that 1 took a disgust
of the place that was almost as strong as fear.
All the time I was washing out the block-house, and
then washing up the things from dinner, this disgust
and envy kept growing stronger and stronger, till at
last, being near a bread-bag, and no one then observing
me, I took the first step towards my escapade, and filled
both pockets of my coat with biscuit.
1 was a fool, if you like, and certainly I was going to
do a foolish, over-bold act; but I was determined to do
it with all the precautions in my power. These biscuits,
should anything befall me, would keep me, at least, from
starving till far on in the next day.
The next thing I laid hold of was a brace of pistols,
and as I already had a powder-horn and bullets, I felt
myself well supplied with arms.
As for the scheme I had in my head, it was not a bad
one in ftseIC I was to go down the sandy spit that
divides the anchorage on the east from the open sea,
find the white rock I had observed last evening, and
ascertain whether it was there or not that Ben Gunn
had hidden his boat; a thing quite worth doing, as I
still believe. But as I was certain I should not be al-
lowed to leave the enclosure, my only plan was to take
French leave, and slip out when nobody was watching;
and that was so bad a way of doing it as made the thing
itself wrong. But I was only a boy, and I had made my
Well, as things at last fell out, I found an admirable
opportunity. The squire and Gray were busy helping
the captain with his bandages; the coast was clear; I
made a bolt for it over the stockade and into the thickest
of the trees, and before my absence was observed I was
out of cry of my companions.
This was my second folly, far worse than the first, as
I left but two sound men to guard the house; but like
the first, it was a help towards saving all of us.
I took my way straight for the east coast of the isl-
and, for I was determined to go down the sea side of
the spit to avoid all chance of observation from the an-
chorage. It was already late in the afternoon, although
still warm and sunny. As I continued to thread the tall
woods I could hear from far before me not only the con-
tinuous thunder of the surf, but a certain tossing of foli-
age and grinding of boughs which showed me the sea
breeze had set in higher than usual. Soon cool draughts
of air began to reach me ; and a few steps farther I came
forth into the open borders of the grove, and saw the sea
lying blue and sunny to the horizon, and the surf tum-
bling and tossing its foam along the beach.
! have never seen the sea quiet round Treasure Island.
The sun might blaze overhead, the air be without a
breath, the surface smooth and blue, but still these great
rollers would be running along all the external coast,
thundering and thundering by day and night; and I
scarce believe there is one spot in the island where a
man would be out of earshot of their noise.
I walked along beside the surf with great er^Cfpment,
HOW MY SEA ADVENTURE BEGAN
till, thinking I was now got far enough to the sooth, I
took the cover of some thick bushes, and crept warily
up to the ridge of the spit.
Behind me was the sea, in front the anchorage. The
sea breeze, as though it had the sooner blown itself out
by its unusual violence, was already at an end; it had
been succeeded by light, variable airs from the south and
south-east, carrying great banks of fog ; and the anchor-
age, under lee of Skeleton Island, lay still and leaden as
when first we entered it. The Hispaniola, in that un-
broken mirror, was exactly portrayed from the truck to
the water-line, the Jolly Roger hanging from her peak.
Alongside lay one of the gigs, Silver in the stern-sheets
— him I could always recognise — while a couple of
men were leaning over the stern bulwarks, one of them
with a red cap — the very rogue that I had seen some
hours before stride-legs upon the palisade. Apparently
they were talking and laughing, though at that distance
— upwards of a mile — I could, of course, hear no word
of what was said. All at once, there began the most
horrid, unearthly screaming, which at first startled me
badly, though I had soon remembered the voice of Cap-
tain Flint, and even thought I could make out the bird
by her bright plumage as she sat perched upon her
Soon after the jolly-boat shoved off and pulled for
shore, and the man with the red cap and his comrade
went below by the cabin companion.
Just about the same time the sun had gone down be-
hind the Spy-glass, and as the fog was collecting rapidly,
it began to grow dark in earnest. I saw I must lose no
time if 1 were to find the boat that evening.
The white rack, visible enough above the brush, was
still some eighth of a mile further down the spit, and it
took me a goodish while to get up with it, crawling, often
on all-foors, among the scrub. Night had almost come
when I laid my hand on its rough sides. Right below
it there was an exceedingly small hollow of green turf,
hidden by banks and a thick underwood about knee-
deep, that grew there very plentifully ; and in the centre
of the dell, sure enough, a little tent of goat-skins, like
what the gipsies carry about with them in England.
I dropped into the hollow, lifted the side of the tent,
and there was Ben Gunn's boat — home-made if ever
anything was home-made : a rude, lop-sided framework
of tough wood, and stretched upon that a covering of
goat-skin, with the hair inside. The thing was extremely
small, even for me, and I can hardly imagine that it could
have floated with a foil-sized man. There was one
thwart set as low as possible, a kind of stretcher in the
bows, and a double paddle for propulsion.
I had not then seen a coracle, such as the ancient
Britons made, but I have seen one since, and I can give
you no fairer idea of Ben Gunn's boat than by saying
it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made
by man. But the great advantage of the coracle it cer-
tainly possessed, for it was exceedingly fight and port-
Well, now that I had found the boat, you would have
thought I had had enough of truantry for once; but,
in the meantime, I had taken another notion, and become
so obstinately fond of it, that I would have carried it out,
I believe, in the teeth of Captain Smollett himself. This
was to slip out under cover of the night, cut the HiSpan-
HOW MY SEA ADVENTURE BEGAN
tola adrift, and let her go ashore where she fancied. I
had quite made up my mind that the mutineers, after
their repulse of the morning, had nothing nearer their
hearts than to up anchor and away to sea ; this, I thought,
it would be a fine thing to prevent, and now that I had
seen how they left their watchmen unprovided with a
boat, I thought it might be done with little risk.
Down I sat to wait for darkness, and made a hearty
meal of biscuit. It was a night out of ten thousand for
my purpose. The fog had now buried all heaven. As
the last rays of daylight dwindled and disappeared, abso-
lute blackness settled down on Treasure Island. And
when, at last, 1 shouldered the coracle, and groped my
way stumblingly out of the hollow where I had supped,
there were but two points visible on the whole anchorage.
One was the great fire on shore, by which the defeated
pirates lay carousing in the swamp. The other, a mere
blur of light upon the darkness, indicated the position of
the anchored ship. She had swung round to the ebb —
her bow was now towards me-— the only lights on
board were in the cabin ; and what I saw was merely a
reflection on the fog of the strong rays that flowed from
the stern window.
The ebb had already run some time, and I had to
Wade through a long belt of swampy sand, where I sank
several times above the ankle, before I came to the edge
of the retreating water, and wading a little way in, with
some strength and dexterity, set my coracle, keel down-
wards, on the surface.
THE EBB-TIDE RUNS
The coracle — as I had ample reason to know before I
was done with her — was a very safe boat for a person
of my height and weight, both buoyant and clever in a
seaway ; but she was the most cross-grained lop-sided
craft to manage. Do as you pleased, she always made
more leeway than anything else, and turning round and
round was the manoeuvre she was best at. Even Ben
Gunn himself has admitted that she was "queer to
handle till you knew her way."
Certainly I did not know her way. She turned in
every direction but the one I was bound to go; the
most part of the time we were broadside on, and I am
very sure I never should have made the ship at all but
for the tide. By good fortune, paddle as I pleased, the
tide was still sweeping me down ; and there lay the
Hispaniola right in the fair way, hardly to be missed.
First she loomed before me like a blot of something
yet blacker than darkness, then her spars and hull began
to take shape, and the next moment, as it seemed (for,
the further I went, the brisker grew the current of the
ebb), I was alongside of her hawser, and had laid hold.
The hawser was as taut as a bowstring, and the cur-
rent so strong she pulled upon her anchor. AH round
THE EBB-TIDE RUNS
the hull, in the blackness, the rippling current bubbled
and chattered like a little mountain stream. One cut
with my sea-gully, and the Htspantola would go hum-
ming down the tide.
So far so good ; but it next occurred to my recollec-
tion that a taut hawser, suddenly cut, is a thing as dan-
gerous as a kicking horse. Ten to one, if I were so
foolhardy as to cut the Htspantola from her anchor, I
and the coracle would be knocked clean out of the water.
This brought me to a full stop, and if fortune had not
again particularly favoured me, I should have had to
abandon my design. But the light airs which had be-
gun blowing from the south-east and south had hauled
round after nightfall into the south-west. Just while I
was meditating, a puff came, caught the Htspantola, and
forced her up into the current; and to my great joy, I felt
the hawser slacken in my grasp, and the hand by which
I held it dip for a second under water.
With that I made my mind up, took out my gully,
opened it with my teeth, and cut one strand after an-
other, till the vessel swung only by two. Then I lay
quiet, waiting to sever these last when the strain should
be once more lightened by a breath of wind.
All this time I had heard the sound of loud voices from
the cabin ; but, to say truth, my mind had been so en-
tirely taken up with other thoughts that I had scarcely
given ear. Now, however, when I had nothing else to
do, I began to pay more heed.
One I recognised for the coxswain's, Israel Hands,
that had been Flint's gunner in former days. The other
was, of course, my friend of the red night-cap. Both
men were plainly the worse of drink, and they were
still drinking; for, even while I was listening, one of
them, with a drunken cry, opened the stern window
and threw out something, which I divined to be an
empty bottle. But they were not only tipsy; it was
plain that they were furiously angry. Oaths flew like
hailstones, and every now and then there came forth
such an explosion as I thought was sure to end in
blows. But each time the quarrel passed off, and the
voices grumbled lower for a while, until the next crisis
came, and, in its turn, passed away without result.
On shore, I could see the glow of the great camp fire
burning warmly through the shore-side trees. Some
one was singing, a dull, old, droning sailor's song, with
a droop and a quaver at the end of every verse, and
seemingly no end to it at all but the patience of the
singer. I had heard it on the voyage more than once,
and remembered these words:
" But one man of her crew alive,
What put to sea with seventy-five."
And I thought it was a ditty rather too dolefully appro-
priate for a company that had met such cruel losses in
the morning. But, indeed, from what I saw, all these
buccaneers were as callous as the sea they sailed on.
At last the breeze came; the schooner sidled and
drew nearer in the dark; I felt the hawser slacken once
more, and with a good, tough effort, cut the last fibres
The breeze had but little action on the coracle, and I
was almost instantly swept against the bows of the His-
paniola. At the same time the schooner began to turn
THE EBB-TIDE RUNS
upon her heel, spinning slowly, end for end, across the
I wrought like a fiend, for I expected every moment
to be swamped; and since I found I could not push the
coracle directly off, I now shoved straight astern. At
length I was clear of my dangerous neighbour; and just
as I gave the last impulsion, my hands came across a
light cord that was trailing overboard across the stern
bulwarks. Instantly I grasped it.
Why I should have done so I can hardly say. It was
at first mere instinct; but once I had it in my hands and
found it fast, curiosity began to get the upper hand, and
I determined I should have one look through the cabin
I pulled in hand over hand on the cord, and, when I
judged myself near enough, rose at infinite risk to about
half my height, and thus commanded the roof and a
slice of the interior of the cabin.
By this time the schooner and her little consort were
gliding pretty swiftly through the water; indeed, we had
already fetched up level with the camp fire. The ship
was talking, as sailors say, loudly, treading the innu-
merable ripples with an incessant weltering splash ; and
until I got my eye above the window-sill I could not
comprehend why the watchmen had taken no alarm.
One glance, however, was sufficient ; and it was only
one glance that I durst take from that unsteady skiff.
It showed me Hands and his companion locked to-
gether in deadly wrestle, each with a hand upon the
I dropped upon the thwart again, none too soon, for
I was near overboard. I could see nothing for the mo-
ment, but these two furious, encrimsoned faces, sway-
ing together under the smoky lamp ; and I shot my eyes
to let them grow once more familiar with the darkness.
The endless ballad had come to an end at last, and
the whole diminished company about the camp fire had
broken kito the chorus I had heard so often:
M Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum !
Drink and the devil had done for the rest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! ?J
1 was just thinking how busy drink and the devil were
at that very moment in the cabin of the Hispaniola, when
1 was surprised by a sudden lurch of the coracle. At
the same moment she yawed sharply and seemed to
change her course. The speed in the meantime had
I opened my eyes at once. All round me were little
ripples, combing over with a sharp, bristling sound and
slightly phosphorescent. The Hispaniols herself, a few
yards in whose wake 1 was still being whirled along,
seemed to stagger in her course, and I saw her spars
toss a little against the blackness of the night; nay, as I
looked longer, I made sure she also was wheeling to the
I glanced over my shoulder, and my heart jumped
against my ribs. There, right behind me, was the glow
©f the camp fire. The current had turned at right angles,
sweeping round along with it the tall schoeaer and the
little dancing coracle; ever quickening, ever bubbling
higher, ever muttering louder, it went spiinifiag through
the narrows for the open sea.
THE EBB-TIDE RUNS
Suddenly the schooner in front of me gave a violent
yaw, turning, perhaps, through twenty degrees; and al-
most at the same moment one shout followed another
from on board ; I could hear feet pounding on the com-
panion ladder; and I knew that the two drunkards had
at last been interrupted in their quarrel and awakened t#
a sense of their disaster.
I lay down flat in the bottom of that wretched skiff,
and devoutly recommended my spirit to its Maker. At
the end of the straits, I made sure we must fall into some
bar of raging breakers, where all my troubles would be
ended speedily; and though I could, perhaps, bear to
die, I could not bear to look upon my fate as it ap-
So I must have lain for hours, continually beaten to
and fro upon the billows, now and again wetted wkh
flying sprays, and never ceasing to expect death at the
next plunge. Gradually weariness grew upon me; a
numbness, an occasional stupor, fell upon my mind even
in the midst of my terrors ; until sleep at last supervened,
and in my sea-tossed coracle I lay and dreamed of home
and the old "Admiral Benbow."
THE CRUISE OF THE CORACLE
It was broad day when I awoke, and found myself
tossing at the south-west end of Treasure Island. The
sun was up, but was still hid from me behind the great
bulk of the Spy-glass, which on this side descended al-
most to the sea in formidable cliffs.
Haulbowline Head and Mizzen-mast Hill were at
my elbow ; the hill bare and dark, the head bound with
cliffs forty or fifty feet high, and fringed with great
masses of fallen rock. I was scarce a quarter of a mile
to seaward, and it was my first thought to paddle in
That notion was soon given over. Among the fallen
rocks the breakers spouted and bellowed; loud rever-
berations, heavy sprays flying and falling, succeeded one
another from second to second ; and I saw myself, if I
ventured nearer, dashed to death upon the rough shore,
or spending my strength in vain to scale the beetling
Nor was that all ; for crawling together on flat tables
of rock, or letting themselves drop into the sea with loud
reports, I beheld huge slimy monsters — soft snails, as it
were, of incredible bigness — two or three score of them
together, making the rocks to echo with their barkings.
THE CRUISE OF THE CORACLE
J have understood since that they were sea lions, and
entirely harmless. But the look of them, added to the
difficulty of the shore and the high running of the surf,
was more than enough to disgust me of that landing
place. I felt willing rather to starve at sea than to con-
front such perils.
In the meantime I had a better chance, as I supposed,
before me. North of Haulbowline Head, the land runs
in a long way, leaving, at low tide, a long stretch of
yellow sand. To the north of that, again, there comes
another cape — Cape of the Woods, as it was marked
upon the chart — buried in tall green pines, which de-
scended to the margin of the sea.
I remembered what Silver had said about the current
that sets northward along the whole west coast of Trea-
sure Island ; and seeing from my position that I was al-
ready under its influence, I preferred to leave Haulbow-
line Head behind me, and reserve my strength for an
attempt to land upon the kindlier-looking Cape of the
There was a great, smooth swell upon the sea. The
wind blowing steady and gentle from the south, there
was no contrariety between that and the current, and
the billows rose and fell unbroken.
Had it been otherwise, I must long ago have perished;
but as it was, it is surprising how easily and securely
my little and light boat could ride. Often, as i still lay
at the bottom, and kept no more than an eye above the
gunwale, I would see a big blue summit heaving close
above me; yet the coracle would but bounce a little,
dance as if on springs, and subside on the other side
into the trough as lightly as a bird.
I began after a little to grow very bold, and sat up to
try my skill at paddling. But even a small change in
the disposition of the weight will produce violent changes
in the behaviour of a coracle. And I had hardly moved
before the boat, giving up at once her gentle dancing
movement, ran straight down a slope of water so steep
that it made me giddy, and struck her nose, with a
spout of spray, deep into the side of the next wave.
I was drenched and terrified, and fell instantly back
into my old position, whereupon the coracle seemed to
find her head again, and led me as softly as before
among the billows. It was plain she was not to be in-
terfered with, and at that rate, since I could in no way
influence her course, what hope had I left of reaching
I began to be horribly frightened, but I kept my head,
for all that. First, moving with all care, I gradually
baled out the coracle with my sea-cap ; then getting my
eye once more above the gunwale, 1 set myself to study
how it was she managed to slip so quietly through the
I found each wave, instead of the big, smooth glossy
mountain it looks from shore, or from a vessel's deck, was
for all the world like any range of hills on the dry land,
full of peaks and smooth places and valleys. The cora-
cle, left to herself, turning from side to side, threaded,
so to speak, her way through these lower parts, and
avoided the steep slopes and higher, toppling summits
of the wave.
"WeM, now," thought I to myself, "it is plain I must
Me where I am, and not disturb the balance; but it is
plain, ateo, that I can put the paddle over the side, and
THE CRUISE OF THE CORACLE
from time to time, in smooth places, give her a shove or
two towards land." No sooner thought upon than done.
There I lay on my elbows, in the most trying attitude,
and every now and again gave a weak stroke or two to
turn her head to shore.
It was very tiring, and slow work, yet I did visibly
gain ground ; and, as we drew near the Cape of the
Woods, though I saw I must infallibly miss that point,
I had still made some hundred yards of easting. I was,
indeed, close in. I could see the cool, green tree-tops
swaying together in the breeze, and I felt sure I should
make the next promontory without fail.
It was high time, for I now began to be tortured with
thirst. The glow of the sun from above, its thousand-
fold reflection from the waves, the sea-water that fell
and dried upon me, caking my very lips with salt, com-
bined to make my throat burn and my brain ache. The
sight of the trees so near at hand had almost made me
sick with longing ; but the current had soon carried me
past the point; and, as the next reach of sea opened out,
I beheld a sight that changed the nature of my thoughts.
Right in front of me, not half a mile away, I beheld
the Hi§paniola under sail. I made sure, of course, that
I should be taken ; but I was so distressed for want of
water, that I scarce knew whether to be glad or sorry
at the thought; and, long before I had come to a con-
clusion, surprise had taken entire possession of my mind,
and I could do nothing but stare and wonder.
The Hi§paniola was under her main-sail and two jibs*
and the beautiful white canvas shone in the sun like
snow or silver. When I first sighted her, all her sails
were drawing; she was laying a course about north-
west; and I presumed the men on board were going
round the island on their way back to the anchorage.
Presently she began to fetch more and more to the
westward, so that I thought they had sighted me and
were going about in chase. At last, however, she fell
right into the wind's eye, was taken dead aback, and
stood there a while helpless, with her sails shivering.
"Clumsy fellows/' said I; "they must still be drunk
as owls." And I thought how Captain Smollett would
have set them skipping.
Meanwhile, the schooner gradually fell off, and filled
again upon another tack, sailed swiftly for a minute or
so, and brought up once more dead in the wind's eye.
Again and again was this repeated. To and fro, up and
down, north, south, east, and west, the Hi&paniola sailed
by swoops and dashes, and at each repetition ended as
she had begun, with idly flapping canvas. It became
plain to me that nobody was steering. And, if so,
where were the men ? Either they were dead drank,
or had deserted her, I thought, and perhaps if I could get
on board, 1 might return the vessel to her captain.
The current was bearing coracle and schooner south-
ward at an equal rate. As for the latter's sailing, it was
so wild and intermittent, and she hung each time so long
in irons, that she certainly gained nothing, if she did not
even lose. If only I dared to sit up and paddle, I made
sure that I could overhaul her. The scheme had an air
of adventure that inspired me, and the thought of the
water breaker beside the fore companion doubled my
Up 1 got, was welcomed almost instantly by another
cloud of spray, but this time stuck to my purpose; and
THE CRUISE OF THE CORACLE
set myself, with all my strength and caution, to paddle
after the Bnsteered Hi&paniola. Once I shipped a sea so
heavy that I had to stop and bail, with my heart flutter-
ing like a bird ; but gradually I got into the way of the
thing, and guided my coracle among the waves, with
only now and then a blow upon her bows and a dash of
foam in my face.
I was now gaining rapidly on the schooner; I could
see the brass glisten on the tiller as it banged about ; and
still no soul appeared upon her decks. I could not
choose but suppose she was deserted. If not, the men
were lying drunk below, where I might batten them
down, perhaps, and do what I chose with the ship.
For some time she had been doing the worst thing
possible for me — standing still. She headed nearly due
south, yawing, of course, all the time. Each time she
fell off her sails partly filled, and these brought her, in a
moment, right to the wind again. I have said this was
the worst thing possible for me; for helpless as she
looked in this situation, with the canvas cracking like
cannon, and the blocks trundling and banging on the
deck, she still continued to run away from me, not only
with the speed of the current, but by the whole amount
of her leeway, which was naturally great
But now, at last, I had my chance. The breeze fell,
for some seconds, very low, and the current gradually
turning her, the Hispaniola revolved slowly round her
centre, and at last presented me her stern, with the cabin
window still gaping open, and the lamp over the table
still burning on into the day. The main-sail hung
drooped Hke a banner. She was stock-still, but for the
For the last little while I had even lost; but n*w f re-
doubling my efforts, I began once more to overhaul the
I was not a hundred yards from her when Ute wind
came again in a clap ; she filled on the port tack, and
was off again, stooping and skimming like a swallow.
My first impulse was one of despair, but my second
was towards joy. Round she came, till she was broad-
side on to me — round still till she had covered a half,
and then two-thirds, and then three-quarters of the dis-
tance that separated us. I could see the waves boiling
white under her forefoot. Immensely tall she looked to
me from my low station in the coracle.
And then, of a sudden, I began to comprehend. I had
scarce time to think — scarce time to act and save my-
self. I was on the summit of one swell when the
schooner came stooping over the next. The bowsprit
was over my head. 1 sprang to my feet, and leaped,
stamping the coracle under water. With one hand I
caught the jib-boom, while my foot was lodged between
the stay and the brace; and as I still clung there pant-
ing, a dull blow told me that the schooner had charged
down upon and struck the coracle, and that I was teft
without retreat on the Hupaniola.
I STRIKE THE JOLLY ROGER
I bad scarce gained a position on the bowsprit, when
the flying jib flapped and filled upon the other tack,
with a report like a gun. The schooner trembled to her
keel under the reverse; but next moment, the other sails
still drawing, the jib flapped back again, and hung idle.
This had nearly tossed me off into the sea; and now
1 lost no time, crawled back along the bowsprit, and
tumbled head foremost on the deck.
I was on the lee side of the forecastle, and the main-
sail, which was still drawing, concealed from me a cer-
tain portion of the after-deck. Not a soul was to be
seen. The planks, which had not been swabbed since
the mutiny, bore the print of many feet; and an empty
bottle, broken by the neck, tumbled to and fro like a live
thing in the scuppers.
Suddenly the HiSpaniola came right into the wind.
The jibs behind me cracked aloud ; the rudder slammed
to ; the whole ship gave a sickening heave and shudder,
and at the same moment the main-boom swung in-
board, the sheet groaning in the blocks, and showed me
the lee after-deck.
There were the two watchmen, sure enough : red-cap
#n k» back, as stiff as a handspike, with his arras
stretched out like those of a crucifix, and Us teeth
showing through his open lips; Israel Hands propped
against the bulwarks, his chin on his chest, his hands
lying open before him on the deck, his face as white,
under its tan, as a tallow candle.
For a while the ship kept bucking and sidling like a
vicious horse, the sails filling, now on one tack, now on
another, and the boom swinging to and fro tiH tfoe mast
groaned aloud under the strain. Now and again, too,
there would come a cloud of light sprays over the bul-
wark, and a heavy blow of the ship's bows against the
swell : so much heavier weather was made of k by this
great rigged ship than by my home-made, lop-sided
coracle, now gone to the bottom of the sea.
At every jump of the schooner, red-cap slipped to and
fro ; but — what was ghastly to behold — neither his at-
titude nor his fixed teeth-disclosing grin was anyway
disturbed by this rough usage. At every jump, too,
Hands appeared still more to sink into himself and settle
down upon the deck, his feet sliding ever the farther
out, and the whole body canting towards the stern, so
that his face became, little by little, hid from me; and at
last I could see nothing beyond his ear and the frayed
ringlet of one whisker.
At the same time, I observed, around both of them,
splashes of dark blood upon the planks, and began to feel
sure that they had killed each other in their drunken wrath.
While I was thus looking and wondering, in a calm
moment, when the ship was still, Israel Hands turned
partly round, and, with a low moan, writhed himself
back to the position in which I had seen him first The
moan, which told of pain and deadly weakness, anil the
! STRIKE THE JOLLY ROGER
way in which his jaw hung open, went right to my
heart. But when I remembered the talk I had overheard
from the apple barrel, all pity left me.
I walked aft until I reached the main-mast.
"Come aboard, Mr. Hands," I said, ironically.
He rolled his eyes round heavily ; but he was too far
gone to express surprise. All he could do was to utter
one word, " Brandy."
It occurred to me there was no time to lose; and,
dodging the boom as it once more lurched across the
deck, I slipped aft, and down the companion stairs into
It was such a scene of confusion as you can hardly
fancy. All the lockfast places had been broken open in
quest of the chart. The floor was thick with mud,
where ruffians had sat down to drink or consult after
wading in the marshes round their camp. The bulk-
heads, all painted in clear white, and beaded round with
gilt, bore a pattern of dirty hands. Dozens of empty
bottles clinked together in corners to the rolling of the
ship. One of the doctor's medical books lay open on
the table, half of the leaves gutted out, I suppose, for
pipelights. In the midst of all this the lamp still cast a
smoky glow, obscure and brown as umber.
I went into the cellar; all the barrels were gone, and
of the bottles a most surprising number had been drunk
out and thrown away. Certainly, since the mutiny
began, not a man of them could ever have been sober.
Foraging about, I found a bottle with some brandy left,
for Hands; and for myself I routed out some biscuit,
some pickled fruits, a great bunch of raisins, and a piece
of cheese. With these I came on deck, put down my
TREASURE ISLAND ^
own stock behind the rudder head, and well out of the
coxswain's reach, went forward to the water-breaker,
and had a good, deep drink of water, and then, and not
till then, gave Hands the brandy.
He must have drunk a gill before he took the bottle
from his mouth.
"Aye," said he, "by thunder, but I wanted some o*
I had sat down already in my own corner and begun
"Much hurt?" I asked him.
He grunted, or, rather, I might say, he barked.
"If that doctor was aboard," he said, "I'd be right
enough in a couple of turns ; but I don't have no man-
ner of luck, you see, and that's what's the matter with
me. As for that swab, he's good and dead, he is," he
added, indicating the man with the red cap. " He warn't
no seaman, anyhow. And where mought you have
come from ?"
" Well," said I, " I've come aboard to take possession
of this ship, Mr. Hands; and you'll please regard me as
your captain until further notice."
He looked at me sourly enough, but said nothing.
Some of the colour had come back into his cheeks,
though he still looked very sick, and still continued to
slip out and settle down as the ship banged about.
" By-the-by," I continued, " I can't have these colours,
Mr. Hands; and, by your leave, I'll strike 'em. Better
none than these."
And, again dodging the boom, I ran to the colour
lines, handed down their cursed black flag, and chucked
1 STRIKE THE JOLLY ROGER
"God save the king! " said I, waving my cap; "and
there's an end to Captain Silver! "
He watched me keenly and slyly, his chin atl the
while on his breast.
"I reckon/' he said at last — " I reckon, Cap'n Hawkins,
you'll kind of want to get ashore, now. S'pose we talks. "
"Why, yes," says I, "with all my heart, Mr. Hands.
Say on." And I went back to my meal with a good
"This man/' he began, nodding feebly at the corpse
—"O'Brien were his name — a rank Irelander — this
man and me got the canvas on her, meaning for to sail
her back. Well, he's dead now, he is — as dead as
bilge; and who's to sail this ship, I don't see. Without
I gives you a hint, you ain't that man, as far's I can tell.
Now, look here, you gives me food and drink, and a old
scarf or ankecher to tie my wound up, you do; and I'll
tell you how to sail her; and that's about square all
round, I take it."
" I'll tell you one thing," says I : "I'm not going back
to Captain Kidd's anchorage. I mean to get into North
Inlet, and beach her quietly there."
" To be sure you did," he cried. " Why, I ain't sich
an infernal lubber, afte«r all. I can see, can't I ? I've
tried my fling, I have, and I've lost, and it's you has the
wind of me. North Inlet ? Why, I haven't no ch'ice,
not I ! I'd help you sail her up to Execution Dock, by
thunder! so I would."
Well, as it seemed to me, there was some sense in
this. We struck our bargain on the spot. In three
minutes I had the Hispaniola sailing easily before the
wind along the coast of Treasure Island, with good
hopes of turning the northern point ere noon, and beat-
ing down again as far as North Inlet before high water,
when we might beach her safely, and wait till the sub-
siding tide permitted us to land.
Then 1 lashed the tiller and went below to my own chest,
where I got a soft silk handkerchief of my mother's. With
this, and with my aid, Hands bound up the great bleeding
stab he had received in the thigh, and after he had eaten
a little and had a swallow or two more of the brandy, he
began to pick up visibly, sat straighter up, spoke louder
and clearer, and looked in every way another man.
The breeze served us admirably. We skimmed before
it like a bird, the coast of the island flashing by, and the
view changing every minute. Soon we were past the
high lands and bowling beside low, sandy country,
sparsely dotted with dwarf pines, and soon we were
beyond that again, and had turned the corner of the
rocky hill that ends the island on the north.
I was greatly elated with my new command, and
pleased with the bright, sunshiny weather and these
different prospects of the coast. I had now plenty of
water and good things to eat, and my conscience, which
had smitten me hard for my desertion, was quieted by
the great conquest I had made. I should, I think, have
had nothing left me to desire but for the eyes of the cox-
swain as they followed me derisively about the deck,
and the odd smile that appeared continually on his face.
It was a smile that had in it something both of pain and
weakness — a haggard, old man's smile ; but there was,
besides that, a grain of derision, a shadow of treachery
in his expression as he craftily watched, and watched,
and watched me at my work.
The wind, serving us to a desire, now hauled into
the west We could run so much the easier from the
north-east corner of the island to the mouth of the North
Inlet. Only, as we had no power to anchor, and dared
not beach her till the tide had flowed a good deal far-
ther, time hung on our hands. The coxswain told
me how to lay the ship to; after a good many trials
I succeeded, and we both sat in silence, over another
"Cap'n," said he, at length, with that same uncom-
fortable smile, "here's my old shipmate, O'Brien; s'pose
you was to heave him overboard. I ain't particular as a
rule, and I don't take no blame for settling his hash ; but
I don't reckon him ornamental, now, do you ? "
" I'm not strong enough, and I don't like the job; and
there he lies, for me," said I.
' ' This here's an unlucky ship — this HiSpaniola, Jim, "
he went on, blinking. "There's a power of men been
killed in this Hi§paniola — a sight o' poor seamen dead
and gone since you and me took ship to Bristol. I never
seen sich dirty luck, not I. There was this here O'Brien,
now — he's dead, ain't he ? Well, now, I'm no scholar,
and you're a lad as can read and figure; and, to put it
straight, do you take it as a dead man is dead for good,
or do he come alive again ? "
"You can kill the body, Mr. Hands, but not the spirit;
you must know that already," I replied. "O'Brien
there is in another world, and maybe watching us."
" Ah! " says he. " Well, that's unfort'nate — appears
as if killing parties was a waste of time. Howsomever,
sperrits don't reckon for much, by what I've seen. I'll
chance it with the sperrits, Jim. And now, you've
spoke up free, and I'll take it kind if you'd step down
into that there cabin and get me a — well, a — shiver
my timbers ! I can't hit the name on 't ; well, you get
me a bottle of wine, Jim — this here brandy's too strong
for my head."
Now, the coxswain's hesitation seemed to be unnat-
ural; and as for the notion of his preferring wine to
brandy, I entirely disbelieved it. The whole story was
a pretext. He wanted me to leave the deck — so much
was plain ; but with what purpose I could in no way
imagine. His eyes never met mine ; they kept wander-
ing to and fro, up and down, now with a look to the
sky, now with a flitting glance upon the dead O'Brien.
All the time he kept smiling, and putting his tongue out
in the most guilty, embarrassed manner, so that a child
could have told that he was bent on some deception. I
was prompt with my answer, however, for I saw where
my advantage lay ; and that with a fellow so densely
stupid I could easily conceal my suspicions to the
" Some wine ? " I said. " Far better. Will you have
white or red ? "
"Well, I reckon it's about the blessed same to me,
shipmate/ 9 he replied; "so it's strong, and plenty of It,
what's the odds ? "
"All right/' I answered. " I'll bring you port, Mr,
Hands. But I'll have to dig for it"
With that I scuttled down the companion with aH the
noise I could, slipped off my shoes, ran quietly along
the sparred gallery, mounted the forecastle ladder, and
popped my head out of the fore companion. I knew
he would not expect to see me there ; yet I took every
precaution possible ; and certainly the worst of my sus-
picions proved too true.
He had risen from his position to his hands and knees ;
and, though his leg obviously hurt him pretty sharply
when he moved — for I could hear him stifle a groan —
yet it was at a good, rattling rate that he trailed himself
across the deck. In half a minute he had reached the
port scuppers, and picked, out of a coil of rope, a long
knife, or rather a short dirk, discoloured to the hilt with
blood. He looked upon it for a moment, thrusting
forth his under jaw, tried the point upon his hand, and
then, hastily concealing it in the bosom of his jacket,
trundled back again into his old place against the bul-
This was all that I required to know. Israel could
move about; he was now armed; and if he had been at
so much trouble to get rid of me, it was plain that I was
meant to be the victim. What he would do afterwards
— whether he would try to crawl right across the island
from North Inlet to the camp among the swamps, or
whether he would fire Long Tom, trusting that his own
comrades might come first to help him, was, of course,
more than I could say.
Yet I felt sure that I could trust him in one point,
since in that our interests jumped together, and that was
in the disposition of the schooner. We both desired to
have her stranded safe enough, in a sheltered place, and
so that, when the time came, she could be got off again
with as little labour and danger as might be ; and until
that was done I considered that my life would certainly
While I was thus turning the business over in my
mind, I had not been idle with my body. I had stolen
back to the cabin, slipped once more into my shoes, and
laid my hand at random on a bottle of wine, and now,
with this for an excuse, I made my re-appearance on
Hands lay as I had left him, all fallen together in a
bundle, and with his eyelids lowered, as though he
were too weak to bear the light. He looked up, how-
ever, at my coming, knocked the neck off the bottle,
like a man who had done the same thing often, and
took a good swig, with his favourite toast of " Here's
luck! " Then he lay quiet for a little, and then, pulling
out a stick of tobacco, begged me to cut him a quid.
"Cut me a junk o' that/' says he, " for I haven't no
knife, and hardly strength enough, so be as I had. Ah,
Jim, Jim, I reckon I've missed stays! Cut me a quid,
as'H likely be the last, lad ; for I'm for my long home,
and no mistake."
u Well," said I, " I'll cut you some tobacco; but if I
was you and thought myself so badly, I would go t©
my prayers, like a Christian man."
"Why?" said he. "Now, you tell me why."
"Why?" I cried. "You were asking me just now
about the dead. You've broken your trust; you've
lived in sin and lies and blood ; there's a man you killed
lying at your feet this moment; and you ask me why!
For God's mercy, Mr. Hands, that's why."
I spoke with a little heat, thinking of the bloody dirk
he had hidden in his pocket, and designed, in his ill
thoughts, to end me with. He, for his part, took a
great draught of the wine, and spoke with the most
"For thirty years," he said, "I've sailed the seas, and
seen good and bad, better and worse, fair weather and
foul, provisions running out, knives going, and what
not. Well, now I tell you, I never seen good come o'
goodness yet. Him as strikes first is my fancy; dead
men don't bite; them's my views — amen, so be it.
And now, you look here," he added, suddenly chang-
ing his tone, "we've had about enough of this foolery.
The tide's made good enough by now. You just take
my orders, Cap'n Hawkins, and we'll sail slap in and
be done with it"
All told, we had scarce two miles to run ; but the navi-
gation was delicate, the entrance to this northern anchor-
age was not only narrow and shoal, but lay east and
west, so that the schooner must be nicely handled to be
got in. I think I was a good, prompt subaltern, and I
am very sure that Hands was an excellent pilot; for we
went about and about, and dodged in, shaving the
banks, with a certainty and a neatness that were a pleas-
ure to behold.
Scarcely had we passed the heads before the land
closed around us. The shores of North Inlet were as
thickly wooded as those of the southern anchorage; but
the space was longer and narrower, and more like, what
in truth it was, the estuary of a river. Right before us,
at the southern end, we saw the wreck of a ship in
the last stages of dilapidation. It had been a great ves-
sel of three masts, but had lain so long exposed to the
injuries of the weather, that it was hung about with
great webs of dripping seaweed, and on the deck of it
shore bushes had taken root, and now flourished thick
with flowers. It was a sad sight, but it showed us that
the anchorage was calm.
"Now," said Hands, "look there; there's a pet bit
for to beach a ship in. Fine flat sand, never a catspaw,
trees all around of it, and flowers a-blowing like a gar-
ding on that old ship/'
"And once beached," I inquired, "how shall we get
her off again ?"
' ' Why, so, " he replied : * ' you take a line ashore there
on the other side at low water : take a turn about one o'
them big pines; bring it back, take a turn round the
capstan, and lie-to for the tide. Come high water, all
hands take a pull upon the line, and off she comes as
sweet as natur'. And now, boy, you stand by. We're
near the bit now, and she's too much way on her.
Starboard a little — so — steady — starboard — larboard a
little — steady — steady ! "
So he issued his commands, which I breathlessly
obeyed ; till, all of a sudden, he cried, "Now, my hearty,
luff! " And I put the helm hard up, and the HiSpaniola
swung round rapidly, and ran stem on for the low
The excitement of these last manoeuvres had some-
what interfered with the watch I had kept hitherto,
sharply enough, upon the coxswain. Even then I was
still so much interested, waiting for the ship to touch,
that I had quite forgot the peril that hung over my head,
and stood craning over the starboard bulwarks and
watching the ripples spreading wide before the bows.
I might have fallen without a struggle for my life, had
not a sudden disquietude seized upon me, and made me
turn my head. Perhaps I had heard a creak, or seen his
shadow moving with the tail of my eye ; perhaps it was
an instinct like a cat's; but, sure enough, when I looked
round, there was Hands, already half-way towards me,
with the dirk in his right hand.
We must both have cried out aloud when our eyes
met ; but while mine was the shrill cry of terror, his was
a roar of fury like a charging bull's. At the same in-
stant he threw himself forward, and I leaped sideways
towards the bows. As I did so, I let go of the tiller,
which sprang sharp to leeward; and I think this saved
my life, for it struck Hands across the chest, and stopped
him, for the moment, dead.
Before he could recover, I was safe out of the corner
where he had me trapped, with all the deck to dodge
about, just forward of the mainmast I stopped, drew
a pistol from my pocket, took a cool aim, though he
had already turned and was once more coming directly
after me, and drew the trigger. The hammer fell, but
there followed neither flash nor sound ; the priming was
useless with sea water. I cursed myself for my neglect.
Why had not I, long before, reprimed and reloaded my
only weapons ? Then I should not have been as now,
a mere fleeing sheep before this butcher.
Wounded as he was, it was wonderful how fast he
could move, his grizzled hair tumbling over his face, and
his face itself as red as a red ensign with his haste and
fury. I had no time to try my other pistol, nor, indeed,
much inclination, for I was sure it would be useless.
One thing I saw plainly : I must not simply retreat be-
fore him, or he would speedily hold me boxed into the
bows, as a moment since he had so nearly boxed me in
the stern. Once so caught, and nine or ten inches of
the blood-stained dirk would be my last experience on
this side of eternity. I placed my palms against the
mainmast, which was of a goodish bigness, and waited,
every nerve upon the stretch.
Seeing that I meant to dodge, he also paused; and a
moment or two passed in feints on his part, and corre-
sponding movements upon mine. It was such a game
as I had often played at home about the rocks of Black
Hill Cove; but never before, you may be sure, with
such a wildly beating heart as now. Still, as I say, it
was a boy's game, and I thought 1 could hold my own
at it, against an elderly seaman with a wounded thigh.
Indeed, my courage had begun to rise so high, that I
allowed myself a few darting thoughts on what would
be the end of the affair; and while I saw certainly that I
could spin it out for long, I saw no hope of any ulti-
Well, while things stood thus, suddenly the His-
paniola struck, staggered, ground for an instant in the
sand, and then, swift as a blow, canted over to the port
side, till the deck stood at an angle of forty-five degrees,
and about a puncheon of water splashed into the scupper
holes, and lay, in a pool, between the deck and bulwark.
We were both of us capsized in a second, and both
of us rolled, almost together, into the scuppers; the
dead red-cap, with his arms still spread out, tumbling
stiffly after us. So near were we, indeed, that my head
came against the coxswain's foot with a crack that made
my teeth rattle. Blow and all, I was the first afoot again ;
for Hands had got involved with the dead body. The
sudden canting of the ship had made the deck no place
for running on ; I had to find some new way of escape,
and that upon the instant, for my foe was almost touch-
ing me. Quick as thought, I sprang into the mizzen
shrouds, rattled up hand over hand, and did not draw
a breath till I was seated on the cross-trees.
I had been saved by being prompt; the dirk had
struck not half a foot below me, as I pursued my up-
ward flight; and there stood Israel Hands with his mouth
open and his face upturned to mine, a perfect statue of
surprise and disappointment.
Now that I had a moment to myself, 1 lost no time in
changing the priming of my pistol, and then, having
one ready for service, and to make assurance doubly
sure, 1 proceeded to draw the load of the other, and re-
charge it afresh from the beginning.
My new employment Struck Hands all of a heap; he
began to see the dice going against him ; and after an
obvious hesitation, he also hauled himself heavily into
the shrouds, and, with the dirk in his teeth, began slowly
and painfully to mount. It cost him no end of time and
groans to haul his wounded leg behind him ; and I had
quietly finished my anangements before he was much
more than a third of the way up. Then, with a pistol
in either hand, I addressed him.
II One more step, Mr. Hands," said I, "and Til blow
your brains out! Dead men don't bite, you know," I
added, with a chuckle.
He stopped instantly. I could see by the working of
his face that he was trying to think, and the process was
so slow and laborious that, in my new-found security,
I laughed aloud. At last, with a swallow or two, he
spoke, his face still wearing the same expression of ex-
treme perplexity. In order to speak he had to take the
dagger from his mouth, but, in all else, he remained un-
"Jim," says he, "1 reckon we're fouled, you and me,
and we'll have to sign articles. I'd have had you but for
that there lurch : but I don't have no luck, not I ; and
! reckon I'll have to strike, which comes hard, you see,
for a master mariner to a ship's younker like you, Jim."
I was drinking in his words and smiling away, as con-
ceited as a cock upon a wall, when, all in a breath, back
went his right hand over his shoulder. Something sang
like an arrow through the air; I felt a blow and then a
sharp pang, and there I was pinned by the shoulder to
the mast. In the horrid pain and surprise of the moment
— I scarce can say it was by my own volition, and I am
sure it was without a conscious aim — both my pistols
went off, and both escaped out of my hands. They
did not fall alone; with a choked cry, the coxswain
loosed his grasp upon the shrouds, and plunged head
first into the water.
THE COXSWAIN LOOSED HIS GRASP UPON THE SHROUDS AND
PLUNGED HEAD FIRST INTO THE WATER
" PIECES OF EIGHT' '
Owing to the cant of the vessel, the masts hung far
out over the water, and from my perch on the cross-
trees I had nothing below me but the surface of the
bay. Hands, who was not so far up, was, in conse-
quence, nearer to the ship, and fell between me and the
bulwarks. He rose once to the surface in a lather of
foam and blood, and then sank again for good. As the
water settled, I could see him lying huddled together on
the clean, bright sand in the shadow of the vessel's
sides. A fish or two whipped past his body. Some-
times, by the quivering of the water, he appeared to
move a little, as if he were trying to rise. But he was
dead enough, for all that, being both shot and drowned,
and was food for fish in the very place where he had
designed my slaughter.
I was no sooner certain of this than I began to feel
sick, faint, and terrified. The hot blood was running
over my back and chest. The dirk, where it had pinned
my shoulder to the mast, seemed to burn like a hot iron ;
yet it was not so much these real sufferings that dis-
tressed me, for these, it seemed to me, I could bear
without a murmur; it was the horror I had upon my
mind of falling from the cross-trees into that still green
water beside the body of the coxswain.
I clung with both hands till my nails ached, and 1
shut my eyes as if to cover up the peril. Gradually my
mind came back again, my pulses quieted down to a
more natural time, and I was once more in possession of
It was my first thought to pluck forth the dirk ; but
either it stuck too hard or my nerve failed me; and I de-
sisted with a violent shudder. Oddly enough, that very
shudder did the business. The knife, in fact, had come
the nearest in the world to missing me altogether; it
held me by a mere pinch of skin, land this the shudder
tore away. The blood ran down the faster, to be sure ;
but I was my own master again, and only tacked to the
mast by my coat and shirt.
These last I broke through with a sudden jerk, and
then regained the deck by the starboard shrouds. For
nothing in the world would 1 have again ventured,
shaken as I was, upon the overhanging port shrouds,
from which Israel had so lately fallen.
I went below, and did what I could for my wound ;
it pained me a good deal, and still bled freely; but it
was neither deep nor dangerous, nor did it greatly gall
me when I used my arm. Then I looked around me,
and as the ship was now, in a sense, my own, I began
to think of clearing it from its last passenger — the dead
He had pitched, as I have said, against the bulwarks,
where he lay like some horrible, ungainly sort of puppet ;
life-size, indeed, but how different from life's colour or
life's comeliness ! In that position, I could easily have
my way with him ; and as the habit of tragical adven-
tures had worn off almost all my terror for the dead, I
" PIECES OF EIGHT"
took him by the waist as if he had been a sack of bran,
and, with one good heave, tumbled him overboard. He
went in with a sounding plunge; the red cap came off,
and remained floating on the surface; and as soon as the
splash subsided, I could see him and Israel lying side by
side, both wavering with the tremulous movement of the
water. O'Brien, though still quite a young man, was
very bald. There he lay, with that bald head across the
knees of the man who had killed him, and the quick
fishes steering to and fro over both.
I was now alone upon the ship; the tide had just
turned. The sun was within so few degrees of setting
that already the shadow of the pines upon the western
shore began to reach right across the anchorage, and fall
in patterns on the deck. The evening breeze had sprung
up, and though it was well warded off by the hill with
the two peaks upon the east, the cordage had begun to
sing a little softly to itself and the idle sails to rattle to
I began to see a danger to the ship. The jibs I speed-
ily doused and brought tumbling to the deck; but the
main-sail was a harder matter. Of course, when the
schooner canted over the boom had swung out-board,
and the cap of it and a foot or two of sail hung even
under water. I thought this made it still more danger-
ous; yet the strain was so heavy that I half feared to
meddle. At last, I got my knife and cut the halyards.
The peak dropped instantly, a great belly of loose can-
vas floated broad upon the water; and since, pull as I
liked, 1 could not budge the downhall, that was the ex-
tent of what I could accomplish. For the rest, the His*
paniola must trust to luck, like myself.
By this time the whole anchorage had fallen into shad-
ow — the last rays, I remember, falling through a glade
of the wood, and shining bright as jewels, on the flowery
mantle of the wreck. It began to be chill ; the tide was
rapidly fleeting seaward, the schooner settling more and
more on her beam-ends.
I scrambled forward and looked over. It seemed
shallow enough, and holding the cut hawser in both
hands for a last security, I let myself drop softly over-
board. The water scarcely reached my waist; the sand
was firm and covered with ripple marks, and I waded
ashore in great spirits, leaving the Hi§paniola on her
side, with her main-sail trailing wide upon the surface
of the bay. About the same time the sun went fairly
down, and the breeze whistled low in the dusk among
the tossing pines.
At least, and at last, I was off the sea, nor had I re-
turned thence empty handed. There lay the schooner,
clear at last from buccaneers and ready for our own men
to board and get to sea again. I had nothing nearer my
fancy than to get home to the stockade and boast of my
achievements. Possibly I might be blamed a bit for my
truantry, but the recapture of the HiSpaniola was a clench-
ing answer, and I hoped that even Captain Smollett
would confess I had not lost my time.
So thinking, and in famous spirits, I began to set my
face homeward for the block-house and my companions.
I remembered that the most easterly of the rivers which
drain into Captain Kidd's anchorage ran from the two-
peaked hill upon my left ; and I bent my course in that
direction that I might pass the stream while it was small.
The wood was pretty open, and keeping along the lower
" PIECES OF EIGHT"
spurs, I had soon turned the corner of that hill, and not
long after waded to the mid-calf across the water-course.
This brought me near to where I had encountered Ben
Gunn, the maroon ; and I walked more circumspectly,
keeping an eye on every side. The dusk had come nigh
hand completely, and, as I opened out the cleft between
the two peaks, I became aware of a wavering glow
against the sky, where, as I judged, the man of the island
was cooking his supper before a roaring fire. And yet
I wondered, in my heart, that he should show himself
so careless. For if I could see this radiance, might it not
reach the eyes of Silver himself where he camped upon
the shore among the marshes ?
Gradually the night fell blacker; it was all I could do
to guide myself even roughly towards my destination ;
the double hill behind me and the Spy-glass on my right
hand loomed faint and fainter; the stars were few and
pale; and in the low ground where I wandered I kept
tripping among bushes and rolling into sandy pits.
Suddenly a kind of brightness fell about me. I looked
up; a pale glimmer of moonbeams had alighted on the
summit of the Spy-glass, and soon after I saw something
broad and silvery moving low down behind the trees,
and knew the moon had risen.
With this to help me, I passed rapidly over what re-
mained to me of my journey ; and, sometimes walking,
sometimes running, impatiently drew near to the stock-
ade. Yet, as I began to thread the grove that lies be-
fore it, I was not so thoughtless but that I slacked my
pace and went a trifle warily. It would have been a
poor end of my adventures to get shot down by my own
party in mistake.
Tile moon was climbing higher and higher; its light
began to fall here and there in masses through the more
©pen districts of the wood ; and right in front of me a
glow of a different colour appeared among the trees.
It was red and hot, and now and again it was a little
darkened — as it were the embers of a bonfire smoul-
For the life of me, I could not think what it might be.
At last I came right down upon the borders of the
clearing. The western end was already steeped in
moonshine; the rest, and the block-house itself, still lay
in a black shadow, chequered with long, silvery streaks
of light. On the other side of the house an immense
fire had burned itself into clear embers and shed a steady,
red reverberation, contrasted strongly with the mellow
paleness of the moon. There was not a soul stirring,
nor a sound beside the noises of the breeze.
1 stopped, with much wonder in my heart, and per-
haps a little terror also. It had not been our way to
build great fires; we were, indeed, by the captain's or-
ders, somewhat niggardly of firewood ; and I began to
fear that something had gone wrong while I was ab-
I stole round by the eastern end, keeping close in
shadow, and at a convenient place, where the darkness
was thickest, crossed the palisade.
To make assurance surer, I got upon my hands and
knees, and crawled, without a sound, towards the corner
of the house. As I drew nearer, my heart was suddenly
and greatly lightened. It is not a pleasant noise in it-
self, and I have often complained of it at other times;
but just then it was like music to hear my friends snor-
M PIECES OF EIGHT"
ing together so loud and peaceful in their sleep. The
sea cry of the watch, that beautiful " All's well," never
fell more reassuringly on my ear.
In the meantime, there was no doubt of one thing;
they kept an infamous bad watch, If it had been Silver
and his lads that were now creeping in on them, not a
soul would have seen daybreak. That was what it was,
thought I, to have the captain wounded; and again I
blamed myself sharply for leaving them in that danger
with so few to mount guard.
By this time I had got to the door and stood up. All
was dark within, so that I could distinguish nothing by
the eye. As for sounds, there was the steady drone of
the snorers, and a small occasional noise, a flickering or
pecking that I could in no way account for.
With my arms before me I walked steadily in. I should
lie down in my own place (I thought, with a silent
chuckle) and enjoy their faces when they found me in
My foot struck something yielding— it was a sleeper's
leg; and he turned and groaned, but without awaken-
And then, all of a sudden, a shrill voice broke forth
out of the darkness :
" Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!
pieces of eight! pieces of eight! " and so forth, without
pause or change, like the clacking of a tiny mill.
Silver's green parrot, Captain Flint ! It was she whom
I had heard pecking at a piece of bark ; it was she, keep-
ing better watch than any human being, who thus an-
nounced my arrival with her wearisome refrain.
I had no time left me to recover. At the sharp, clip*
ping tone of the parrot, the sleepers awoke and sprang
up ; and with a mighty oath, the voice of Silver cried :
" Who goes?"
I turned to run, struck violently against one person,
recoiled, and ran full into the arms of a second, who, for
his part, closed upon and held me tight.
" Bring a torch, Dick," said Silver, when my capture
was thus assured.
And one of the men left the log-house, and presently
returned with a lighted brand.
IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP
TWfi red glare of the torch, lighting up the interior
of the block-house, showed me the worst of my
apprehensions realised. The pirates were in possession
of the house and stores : there was the cask of cognac,
there were the pork and bread, as before; and, what
tenfold increased my horror, not a sign of any prisoner.
5 could only judge that all had perished, and my heart
smote me sorely that I had not been there to perish with
There were six of the buccaneers, all told; not an-
other man was left alive. Five of them were on their
feet, flushed and swollen, suddenly called out of the first
sleep of drunkenness. The sixth had only risen upon
his elbow; he was deadly pale, and the blood-stained
bandage round his head told that he had recently been
wounded, and still more recently dressed. I remembered
the man who had been shot and had run back among
the woods in the great attack, and doubted not that this
The parrot sat, preening her plumage, on Long John's
shoulder. He himself, I thought, looked somewhat paler
and more stern than I Was used to. He still wore the
fine broadcloth suit in which he had fulfilled his mission,
but it was bitterly the worse for wear, daubed with clay
and torn with the sharp briers of the wood.
"So," said he, " here's Jim Hawkins, shiver my tim-
bers! dropped in, like, eh? Well, come, I take that
And thereupon he sat down across the brandy cask,
and began to fill a pipe.
' ' Give me a loan of the link, Dick, " said he ; and then,
when he had a good light, " That'll do, lad," he added;
" stick the glim in the wood heap ; and you, gentlemen,
bring yourselves to! — you needn't stand up for Mr.
Hawkins; be' 11 excuse you, you may lay to that. And
so, Jim " — stopping the tobacco — " here you were, and
quite a pleasant surprise for poor old John. I see you
were smart when first I set my eyes on you ; but this
here gets away from me clean, it do."
To all this, as may be well supposed, I made no an-
swer. They had set me with my back against the wall ;
and I stood there, looking Silver in the face, pluckily
enough, I hope, to all outward appearance, but with
black despair in my heart.
Silver took a whiff or two of his pipe with great com-
posure, and then ran on again.
"Now, you see, Jim, so be as you are here," says he,
"I'll give you a piece of my mind. I've always liked
you, I have, for a lad of spirit, and the picter of my own
self when I was young and handsome. I always wanted
you to jine and take your share, and die a gentleman,
and now, my cock, you've got to. Cap'n Smollett's a
fine seaman, as I'll own up to any day, but stiff on dis-
cipline. 'Dooty is dooty,' says he, and right he is.
Just you keep clear of the cap'n. The doctor himself is
IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP
gone dead again you — ' ungrateful scamp ' was what he
said ; and the short and the long of the whole story is
about here: you can't go back to your own lot, for they
won't have you ; and, without you start a third ship's
company all by yourself, which might be lonely, you'll
have to jine with Cap'n Silver."
So far so good. My friends, then, were still alive,
and though I partly believed the truth of Silver's state-
ment, that the cabin party were incensed at me for my
desertion, I was more relieved than distressed by what
" I don't say nothing as to your being in our hands,"
continued Silver, ''though there you are, and you may
lay to it. I'm all for argyment; I never seen good come
out o' threatening. If you like the service, well, you'll
jine; and if you don't, Jim, why, you're free to answer
no — free and welcome, shipmate; and if fairer can be
said by mortal seaman, shiver my sides ! "
"Am I to answer then ?" I asked, with a very trem-
ulous voice. Through all this sneering talk, I was made
to feel the threat of death that overhung me, and my
cheeks burned and my heart beat painfully in my breast.
"Lad," said Silver, "no one's a-pressing of you.
Take your bearings. None of us won't hurry you,
mate; time goes so pleasant in your company, you see."
"Well," says I, growing a bit bolder, "if I'm to
choose, I declare I have a right to know what's what
and why you're here, and where my friends are."
" Wot's wot?" repeated one of the buccaneers, in a
deep growl. "Ah, he'd be a lucky one as knowed
" You'll, perhaps, batten down your hatches till you're
spoke to, my friend," cried Silver truculently to this
speaker. And then, in his first gracious tones, he re-
plied to me: "Yesterday morning, Mr. Hawkins," said
he, "in the dog-watch, down came Dr. Livesey with a
flag of truce. Says he, ' Cap'n Silver, you're sold out.
Ship's gone/ Well, maybe we'd been taking a glass,
and a song to help it round. I won't say no. Least-
ways, none of us had looked out We looked out, and
by thunder! the old ship was gone. I never seen a pack
o' fools look fishier ; and you may lay to that, if I tells
you that looked the fishiest. 'Well,' says the doctor,
'let's bargain.' We bargained, him and I, and here we
are : stores, brandy, block-house, the firewood you was
thoughtful enough to cut, and, in a manner of speaking,
the whole blessed boat, from cross-trees to keelson. As
for them, they've tramped; I don't know where's they
He drew again quietly at his pipe.
"And lest you should take it into that head of yours,"
he went on, "that you was included in the treaty, here's
the last word that was said : ' How many are you/ says
I, 'to leave ?' 'Four/ says he — 'four, and one of us
wounded. As for that boy, I don't know where he is,
confound him,' says he, ' nor I don't much care. We're
about sick of him.' These was his words."
"Is that all?" I asked.
"Weil, it's all that you're to hear, my son," returned
"And now I am to choose ?"
"And now you are to choose, and you may lay to
that," said Silver.
"Well," said I, "I am not such a fool but I know
IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP
pretty well what I have to look for. Let the worst come
to the worst, it's little I care* I've seen too many die
since I fell in with you. But there's a thing or two I
have to tell you," I said, and by this time I was quite
excited; "and the first is this: here you are, in a bad
way: ship lost, treasure lost, men lost; your whole
business gone to wreck; and if you want to know who
did it — it was 1! 1 was in the apple barrel the night
we sighted land, and I heard you, John, and you, Dick
Johnson, and Hands, who is now at the bottom of the
sea, and told every word you said before the hour was
out. And as for the schooner, it was 1 who cut her
cable, and it was I that killed the men you had aboard
of her, and it was I who brought her where you'll never
see her more, not one of you. The laugh's on my side;
I've had the top of this business from the first ; I no more
fear you than I fear a fly. Kill me, if you please, or spare
me. But one thing I'll say, and no more; if you spare
me, bygones are bygones, and when you fellows are in
court for piracy, I'll save you all I can. It is for you to
choose. Kill another and do yourselves no good, or
spare me and keep a witness to save you from the
I stopped, for, I tell you, I was out of breath, and, to
my wonder, not a man of them moved, but all sat star-
ing at me like as many sheep. And while they were still
staring, I broke out again :
"And now, Mr. Silver," I said, "I believe you're the
best man here, and if things go to the worst, I'll take it
kind of you to let the doctor know the way I took it."
"111 bear it in mind," said Silver, with an accent so
curious that I could not, for the life of me, decide whether
he were laughing at my request, or had been favourably
affected by my courage.
"Ill put one to that," cried the old mahogany-faced
seaman — Morgan by name — whom 1 had seen in Long
John's public-house upon the quays of Bristol. " It was
him that knowed Black Dog."
" Well, and see here," added the sea-cook. " I'll put
another again to that, by thunder! for it was this same
boy that faked the chart from Billy Bones. First and
last, we've split upon Jim Hawkins ! "
"Then here goes! " said Morgan, with an oath.
And he sprang up, drawing his knife as if he had been
" Avast, there!" cried Silver. "Who are you, Tom
Morgan ? Maybe you thought you was cap'n here, per-
haps. By the powers, but I'll teach you better! Cross
me, and you'll go where many a good man's gone be-
fore you, first and last, these thirty year back — some to
the yard-arm, shiver my timbers ! and some by the board,
and all to feed the fishes. There's never a man looked
me between the eyes and seen a good day a'terwards,
Tom Morgan, you may lay to that."
Morgan paused ; but a hoarse murmur rose from the
"Tom's right," said one.
"I stood hazing long enough from one," added an-
other. " I'll be hanged if I'll be hazed by you, John
" Did any of you gentlemen want to have it out with
me ? " roared Silver, bending far forward from his posi-
tion on the keg, with his pipe still glowing in his right
hand. " Put a name on what you're at ; you ain't dumb,
IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP
I reckon. Him that wants shall get it. Have I lived this
many years, and a son of a rum puncheon cock his hat
athwart my hawse at the latter end of it ? You know
the way; you're all gentlemen o' fortune, by your ac-
count. Well, I'm ready. Take a cutlass, him that dares,
and I'll see the colour of his inside, crutch and all, before
that pipe's empty."
Not a man stirred ; not a man answered.
"That's your sort, is it?" he added, returning his
pipe to his mouth. "Well, you're a gay lot to look at,
anyway. Not much worth to fight, you ain't. P'r'aps
you can understand King George's English. I'm cap'n
here by 'lection. I'm cap'n here because I'm the best
man by a long sea-mile. You won't fight, as gentlemen
o' fortune should; then, by thunder, you'll obey, and
you may lay to it ! I like that boy, now ; I never seen a
better boy than that. He's more a man than any pair
of rats of you in this here house, and what I say is this:
let me see him that'll lay a hand on him — that's what I
say, and you may lay to it."
There was a long pause after this. I stood straight
up against the wall, my heart still going like a sledge-
hammer, but with a ray of hope now shining in my
bosom. Silver leant back against the wall, his arms
crossed, his pipe in the corner of his mouth, as calm as
though he had been in church ; yet his eye kept wander-
ing furtively, and he kept the tail of it on his unruly fol-
lowers. They, on their part, drew gradually together
towards the far end of the block-house, and the low hiss
of their whispering sounded in my ear continuously,
like a stream. One after another, they would look up,
and the red light of the torch would fall for a secop^ on
their nervous faces ; but it was not towards me, it was
towards Silver that they turned their eyes.
"You seem to have a lot to say," remarked Silver,
spitting ut into the air. " Pipe up and let me hear it, or
"Ax your pardon, sir," returned one of the men,
" you're pretty free with some of the rules; maybe you'll
kindly keep an eye upon the rest. This crew's dissatis-
fied; this crew don't vally bullying a marlinspike; this
crew has its rights like other crews, I'll make so free as
that ; and by your own rules, 1 take it we can talk to-
gether. I ax your pardon, sir, acknowledging you for
to be capting at this present ; but I claim my right, and
eteps outside for a council."
And with an elaborate sea-salute, this fellow, a long,
ill-looking, yellow-eyed man of five and thirty, stepped
coolly towards the door and disappeared out of the house.
One after another, the rest followed his example; each
making a salute as he passed ; each adding some apology.
"According to rules," said one. "Fo'c's'le council,"
said Morgan. And so with one remark or another, all
marched out, and left Silver and me alone with the
The sea-cook instantly removed his pipe.
"Now, look you here, Jim Hawkins," he said, in a
steady whisper, that was no more than audible, "you're
within half a plank of death, and, what's a long sight
worse, of torture. They're going to throw me off. But,
you mark, I stand by you through thick and thin. I
didn't mean to; no, not till you spoke up. I was about
desperate to lose that much blunt, and be hanged into
the bargain. But I see you was the right sort. I says
IN THE ENEMY'S CAMP
to myself: You stand by Hawkins, John, and Hawkins '11
stand by you. You're his last card, and, by the living
thunder, John, he's yours! Back to back, says I. You
save your witness, and he'll save your neck! "
I began dimly to understand.
"You mean all's lost?" I asked.
"Ay, by gum, I do!" he answered. "Ship gone,
neck gone — that's the size of it. Once I looked into
that bay, Jim Hawkins, and seen no schooner — well,
I'm tough, but I gave out. As for that lot and their
council, mark me, they're outright fools and cowards.
Til save your life — if so be as I can — from them. But,
see here, Jim — tit for tat — you save Long John from
I was bewildered ; it seemed a thing so hopeless he
was asking — he, the old buccaneer, the ringleader
"What 1 can do, that I'll do," 1 said.
" It's a bargain ! " cried Long John. " You speak up
plucky, and, by thunder! I've a chance."
He hobbled to the torch, where it stood propped
among the firewood, and took a fresh light to his pipe.
"Understand me, Jim," he said, returning. "I've a
head on my shoulders, I have. I'm on squire's side now.
I know you've got that ship safe somewheres. How
you done it, I don't know, but safe it is. I guess Hands
and O'Brien turned soft. I never much believed in
neither of them. Now you mark me. I ask no ques-
tions, nor I won't let others. I know when a game's
up, I do ; and I know a lad that's staunch. Ah, you
that's young — you and me might have done a power
of good together! "
He drew some cognac from the cask into a tin canikin.
"Will you taste, messmate ?" he asked; and when I
had refused: "Well, I'll take a drain myself, Jim," said
he. "I need a caulker, for there's trouble on hand.
And, talking o' trouble, why did that doctor give me
the chart, Jim?"
My face expressed a wonder so unaffected that he
saw the needlessness of further questions.
"Ah, well, he did, though," said he. "And there's
something under that, no doubt — something, surely,
under that, Jim — bad or good."
And he took another swallow of the brandy, shaking
his great fair head like a man who looks forward to the
THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN
The council of the buccaneers had lasted some time,
when one of them re-entered the house, and with a
repetition of the same salute, which had in my eyes an
ironical air, begged for a moment's loan of the torch.
Silver briefly agreed; and this emissary retired again,
leaving us together in the dark.
"There's a breeze coming, Jim," said Silver, who
had, by this time, adopted quite a friendly and familiar
1 turned to the loophole nearest me and looked out.
The embers of the great fire had so far burned themselves
out, and now glowed so low and duskily, that I under-
stood why these conspirators desired a torch. About
half way down the slope to the stockade, they were
collected in a group; one held the light; another was on
his knees in their midst, and I saw the blade of an open
knife shine in his hand with varying colours, in the
moon and torchlight. The rest were all somewhat
stooping, as though watching the manoeuvres of this
last. I could just make out that he had a book as well
as a knife in his hand; and was still v/ondering how
anything so incongruous had come in their possession,
when the kneeling figure rose once more to his feet,
and the whole party began to move together towards
" Here they come," said I; and I returned to my for-
mer position, for it seemed beneath my dignity that they
should find me watching them.
" Well, let 'em come, lad — let 'em come," said Sil-
ver, cheerily. " I've still a shot in my locker."
The door opened, and the five men, standing huddled
together just inside, pushed one of their number for-
ward. In any other circumstances it would have been
comical to see his slow advance, hesitating as he set
down each foot, but holding his closed right hand in
front of him.
* ' Step up, lad, " cried Silver. ' ' I won't eat you. Hand
it over, lubber. I know the rules, I do; I won't hurt a
Thus encouraged, the buccaneer stepped forth more
briskly, and having passed something to Silver, from
hand to hand, slipped yet more smartly back again to
The sea-cook looked at what had been given him.
"The black spot! I thought so," he observed.
4 'Where might you have got the paper? Why, hillo!
look here, now : this ain't lucky ! You've gone and cut
this out of a Bible. What fool's cut a Bible ?"
" Ah, there!" said Morgan — " there! Wot did I say?
No good'll come o' that, I said."
** Well, you've about fixed it now, among you," con-
tinued Silver. "You'll all swing now, I reckon. What
soft-headed lubber had a Bible ?'*
" It was Dick," said one.
"Dick, was it ? Then Dick can get to prayers," said
THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN
Silver. " He's seen his slice of luck, has Dick, and you
may lay to that."
But here the long man with the yellow eyes struck in.
' ( Belay that talk, John Silver," he said. "This crew
has tipped you the black spot in full council, as in dooty
bound; just you turn it over, as in dooty bound, and
see what's wrote there. Then you can talk."
"Thanky, George," replied the sea-cook. "You al-
ways was brisk for business, and has the rules by heart,
George, as I'm pleased to see. Well, what is it, any-
way? Ah! 'Deposed' — that's it, is it? Very pretty
wrote, to be sure ; like print, I swear. Your hand o' write
George ? Why, you was gettin' quite a leadin* man in
this here crew. You'll be cap'n next, I shouldn't won-
der. Just oblige me with that torch again, will you ?
this pipe don't draw/'
"Come, now," said George, "you don't fool this
crew no more. You're a funny man, by your account;
but you're over now, and you'll maybe step down off
that barrel, and help vote."
" I thought you said you knowed the rules/* returned
Silver, contemptuously, "Leastways, if you don't, I
do; and I wait here — and I'm still your cap'n, mind —
till you outs with your grievances, and I reply, in the
meantime, your black spot ain't worth a biscuit. After
that, we'll see."
"Oh," replied George, "you don't be under no kind
of apprehension ; we 're all square, we are. First, you've
made a hash of this cruise — you'll be a bold man to say
no to that. Second, you let the enemy out o' this here
trap for nothing. Why did they want out ? I dunno ;
but it's pretty plain they wanted it. Third, you would-
n't let us go at them upon the march. Oh, we see
through you, John Silver; you want to play booty, that's
what's wrong with you. And then, fourth, there's this
"Is that all?" asked Silver, quietly.
" Enough, too," retorted George. " We'll all swing
and sun-dry for your bungling."
"Well, now, look here, I'll answer these four p'ints;
one after another I'll answer 'em. I made a hash o' this
cruise, did I ? Well, now, you all know what I wanted ;
and you all know, if that had been done, that we'd 'a'
been aboard the Hispantola this night as ever was, every
man of us alive, and fit, and full of good plum-duff, and
the treasure in the hold of her, by thunder! Well, who
crossed me ? Who forced my hand, as was the lawful
cap'n ? Who tipped me the black spot the day we
landed, and began this dance ? Ah, it's a fine dance —
I'm with you there — and looks mighty like a hornpipe
in a rope's end at Execution Dock by London town, it
does. But who done it ? Why, it was Anderson, and
Hands, and you, George Merry! And you're the last
above board of that same meddling crew ; and you have
the Davy Jones's insolence to up and stand for cap'n
over me — you, that sank the lot of us ! By the powers !
but this tops the stiffest yarn to nothing."
Silver paused, and I could see by the faces of George
and his late comrades that these words had not been
said in vain.
"That's for number one," cried the accused, wiping
the sweat from his brow, for he had been talking with
a vehemence that shook the house. "Why, I give you
my word, I'm sick to speak to you. You've neither
THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN
sense nor memory, and I leave it to fancy where your
mothers was that let you come to sea. Sea! Gentle-
tlemen o' fortune! I reckon tailors is your trade."
"Go on t John," said Morgan. " Speak up to the
"Ah, the others!" returned John. "They're a nice
lot, ain't they ? You say this cruise is bungled. Ah !
by gum, if you could understand how bad it's bungled,
you would see! We're that near the gibbet that my
neck's stiff with thinking on it. You've seen 'em,
maybe, hanged in chains, birds about 'em, seamen p'int-
ing 'em out as they go down with the tide. ' Who's
that?' says one. 'That! Why, that's John Silver. I
knowed him well, ' says another. And you can hear
the chains a-jangle as you go about and reach for the
other buoy. Now, that's about where we are, every
mother's son of us, thanks to him, and Hands, and An-
derson, and other ruination fools of you. And if you
want to know about number four, and that boy, why,
shiver my timbers ! isn't he a hostage ? Are we a-going
to waste a hostage ? No, not us ; he might be our last
chance, and I shouldn't wonder. Kill that boy ? not
me, mates! And number three? Ah, well, there's a
deal to say to number three. Maybe you don't count it
nothing to have a real college doctor come to see you
everyday — you, John, with your head broke — or you,
George Merry, that had the ague shakes upon you not
six hours agone, and has your eyes the colour of lemon
peel to this same moment on the clock ? And may be,
perhaps, you didn't know there was a consort coming,
either? But there is; and not so long till then; and
we'll see who'll be glad to have a hostage when it comes
ti that. And as for number two, and why I made a
bargain — well, you came crawling on your knees to
me to make it — on your knees you came, you was that
downhearted — and you'd have starved, too, if I hadn't
— but that's a trifle! you look there — that's why!"
And he cast down upon the floor a paper that I in-
stantly recognised — none other than the chart on yel-
low paper, with the three red crosses, that 1 had found in
the oilcloth at the bottom of the captain's chest. Why the
doctor had given it to him was more than 1 could fancy.
But if it were inexplicable to me, the appearance of
the chart was incredible to the surviving mutineers.
They leaped upon it like cats upon a mouse. It went
from hand to hand, one tearing it from another ; and by
the oaths and the cries and the childish laughter with
which they accompanied their examination, you would
have thought, not only they were fingering the very
gold, but were at sea with it, besides, in safety.
" Yes," said one, "that's Flint, sure enough. J. R,
and a score below, with a clove hitch to it; so he done
" Mighty pretty," said George. " But how are we to
get away with it, and us no ship ?"
Silver suddenly sprang up, and supporting himself
with a hand against the wall: "Now 1 give you warn-
ing, George, "he cried. ' ' One more word of your sauce,
and I'll call you down and fight you. How ? Why,
how do I know ? You had ought to tell me that — you
and the rest, that lost me my schooner, with your in-
terference, burn you! But not you, you can't; you hain't
got the invention of a cockroach. But civil you can
speak, and shall, George Merry, you may lay to that™
'YOU LOOK THERE! THAT'S WHY!'
THE BLACK SPOT AGAIN
"That's fair enow," said the old man Morgan.
" Fair! I reckon so," said the sea-cook. " You lost
the ship; I found the treasure. Who's the better man
at that ? And now I resign, by thunder! Elect whom
you please to be your cap'n now; I'm done with it."
" Silver! " they cried. " Barbecue for ever! Barbecue
" So that's the toon, is it ? " cried the cook. " George,
1 reckon you'll have to wait another turn, friend; and
lucky for you as I'm not a revengeful man. But that
was never my way. And now, shipmates, this black
spot ? 'Tain't much good now, is it ? Dick's crossed
his luck and spoiled his Bible, and that's about ail."
" It'll do to kiss the book on still, won't it ? " growled
Dick, who was evidently uneasy at the curse he had
brought upon himself.
"A Bible with a bit cut out!" returned Silver, de-
risively, "Not it. It don't bind no more'n a ballad-
"Don't it, though ?" cried Dick, with a sort of joy.
"Well, I reckon that's worth having, too."
" Here, jim — here's a cur'osity for you," said Silver;
and he tossed me the paper.
It was a round, about the size of a crown piece. One
side was blank, for it had been the last leaf ; the other
contained a verse or two of Revelation — these words
among the rest, which struck sharply home upon my
mind: " Without are dogs and murderers." The printed
side had been blackened with wood ash, which already
began to come off and soil my fingers; on the blank
side had been written with the same material the one
word " Depposed." I have that curiosity beside me at
this moment; but not a trace of writing now remains
beyond a single scratch* such as a man might make
with his thumb-nail
That was the end of the night's business. Soon after,
with a drink all round, we lay down to sleep, and the
outside of Silver's vengeance was to put George Merry
up for sentinel, and threaten him with death if he should
It was long ere I could close an eye, and Heaven
knows I had matter enough for thought in the man
whom I had slain that afternoon, in my own most peril-
ous position, and, above all, in the remarkable game
that 1 saw Silver now engaged upon — keeping the mu-
tineers together with one hand, and grasping, with the
other, after every means, possible and impossible, to
make his peace and save his miserable life. He himself
slept peacefully, and snored aloud ; yet my heart was sore
for him, wicked as he was, to think on the dark perils
that environed, and the shameful gibbet that awaited
I was wakened — indeed, we were all wakened, for I
could see even the sentinel shake himself together from
where he had fallen against the door-post — by a clear,
hearty voice hailing us from the margin of the wood : —
" Block-house, ahoy ! " it cried. " Here's the doctor."
And the doctor it was. Although I was glad to hear
the sound, yet my gladness was not without admixture.
I remembered with confusion my insubordinate and
stealthy conduct; and when I saw where it had brought
me — among what companions and surrounded by what
dangers — 1 felt ashamed to look him in the face.
He must have risen in the dark, for the day had hardly
come; and when I ran to a loophole and looked out, I
saw him standing, like Silver once before, up to the
mid-leg in creeping vapour.
"You, doctor! Top o' the morning to you, sir!"
cried Silver, broad awake and beaming with good nature
in a moment "Bright and early, to be sure; and it's the
early bird, as the saying goes, that gets the rations.
George, shake up your timbers, son, and help Dr. Live-
sey over the ship's side. All a~doin' well, your patients
was — all well and merry."
So he pattered on, standing on the hill-top, with his
crutch under his elbow, and one hand upon the side of
the log-house— quite the old John in voice, manner, and
"We've quite a surprise for you, too, sir," he con-
tinued. ' ( We've a little stranger here — he ! he ! A noo
boarder and lodger, sir, and looking fit and taut as a
fiddle; step' like a supercargo, he did, right alongside
of John — stem to stem we was, all night"
Dr. Livesey was by this time across the stockade and
pretty near the cook ; and I could hear the alteration in
his voice as he said : —
" The very same Jim as ever was," says Silver.
The doctor stopped outright, although he did not
speak, and it was some seconds before he seemed able
to move on.
"Well, well," he said, at last, "duty first and pleas-
ure afterwards, as you might have said yourself, Silver.
Let us overhaul these patients of yours."
A moment afterwards he had entered the block-house,
and, with one grim nod to me, proceeded with his work
among the sick. He seemed under no apprehension,
though he must have known that his life, among these
treacherous demons, depended on a hair; and he rattled
on to his patients as if he were paying an ordinary pro-
fessional visit in a quiet English family. His manner, I
suppose, reacted on the men ; for they behaved to him
as if nothing had occurred — as if he were still ship's
doctor, and they still faithful hands before the mast.
" You're doing well, my friend," he said to the fellow
with the bandaged head, "and if ever any person had
a close shave, it was you ; your head must be as hard
as iron. Wefl, George, how goes it ? You're a pretty
colour, certainly; why, your liver, man, is upside down.
Did you take that medicine ? Did he take that medicine,
men ? "
"Ay, ay, sir, he took it, sure enough," returned
"Because, you see, since I am mutineers' doctor, or
prison doctor, as I prefer to call it," says Doctor Livesey,
in his pleasantest way, " I make it a point of honour not
to lose a man for King George (God bless him !) and the
The rogues looked at each other, but swallowed the
home-thrust in silence.
"Dick don't feel well, sir," said one.
"Don't he?" replied the doctor. "Well, step up
here, Dick, and let me see your tongue. No, I should
be surprised if he did ! the man's tongue is fit to frighten
the French. Another fever."
"Ah, there," said Morgan, "that corned of sp'iling
1 ' That corned — as you call it — of being arrant asses, "
retorted the doctor, "and not having sense enough to
know honest air from poison, and the dry land from a
vile, pestiferous slough. I think it most probable —
though, of course, it's only an opinion — that you'll all
have the deuce to pay before you get that malaria out of
your systems. Camp in a bog, would you ? Silver, Fm
surprised at you. You're less of a fool than many, take
you all round ; but you don't appear to me to have the
rudiments of a notion of the rules of health.
"Well," he added, after he had dosed them round,
and they had taken his prescriptions, with really laugh-
able humility, more like charity school-children than
blood-guilty mutineers and pirates — " well, that's done
for to-day. And now I should wish to have a talk with
that boy, please."
And he nodded his head in my direction carelessly.
George Merry was at the door, spitting and spluttering
over some bad-tasted medicine ; but at the first word of
the doctor's proposal he swung round with a deep flush,
and cried "No!" and swore.
Silver struck the barrel with his open hand.
"Si-lence!" he roared, and looked about him posi-
tively like a lion. " Doctor," he went on, in his usual
tones, "I was a-thinking of that, knowing as how you
had a fancy for the boy. We're all humbly grateful for
your kindness, and, as you see, puts faith in you, and
takes the drugs down like that much grog. And J take
it I've found a way as '11 suit all. Hawkins, will you
give me your word of honour as a young gentleman — for
a young gentleman you are, although poor born — your
word of honour not to slip your cable ? "
I readily gave the pledge required.
"Then, doctor," said Silver, "you just step outside
o J that stockade, and once you're there, I'll bring the
boy down on the inside, and I reckon you can yarn
through the spars. Good day to you, sir, and all our
dooties to the squire and Cap'n Smollett."
The explosion of disapproval, which nothing but Sil-
ver's black looks had restrained, broke out immediately
the doctor had left the house. Silver was roundly ac-
cused of playing double — of trying to make a separate
peace for himself — of sacrificing the interests of his ac-
complices and victims; and, in one word, of the iden-
tical, exact thing that he was doing. It seemed to me
so obvious, in this case, that I could not imagine how
he was to turn their anger. But he was twice the man
the rest were; and his last night's victory had given him
a huge preponderance on their minds. He called them
all the fools and dolts you can imagine, said it was nec-
essary I should talk to the doctor, fluttered the chart in
their faces, asked them if they could afford to break the
treaty the very day they were bound a-treasure-hunting.
" No, by thunder ! " he cried, "it's us must break the
treaty when the time comes; and till then I'll gammon
that doctor, if I have to ile his boots with brandy."
And then he bade them get the fire lit, and stalked out
upon his crutch, with his hand on my shoulder, leaving
them in a disarray, and silenced by his volubility rather
"Slow, lad, slow," he said. " They might round
upon us in a twinkle of an eye, if we was seen to hurry."
Very deliberately, then, did we advance across the
sand to where the doctor awaited us on the other side
of the stockade, and as soon as we were within easy
speaking distance, Silver stopped.
" You'll make a note of this here also, doctor," says
he, "and the boy '11 tell you how I saved his life, and
were deposed for it, too, and you may lay to that.
Doctor, when a man's steering as near the wind as me
— playing chuck-farthing with the last breath in his
body, like — you wouldn't think it too much, mayhap,
to give him one good word ? You'll please bear in
mind it's not my life only now — it's that boy's into the
bargain ; and you'll speak me fair, doctor, and give me
a bit o' hope to go on, for the sake of mercy."
Silver was a changed man, once he was #«t tfeere and
had his back to his friends and the block-house ; his
cheeks seemed to have fallen in, his voice trembled;
never was a soul more dead in earnest.
"Why, John, you're not afraid ? " asked Doctor Live-
" Doctor, I'm no coward; no, not I — not so much! "
and he snapped his fingers. " If I was I wouldn't say
it. But I'll own up fairly, I've the shakes upon me for
the gallows. You're a good man and a true; I never
seen a better man ! And you'll not forget what I done
good, not any more than you'll forget the bad, I know.
And I step aside — see here — and leave you and Jim
alone. And you'll put that down for me, too, for it's a
long stretch, is that! "
So saying, he stepped back a little way, tiM he was
out of earshot, and there sat down upon a tree-stump
and began to whistle; spinning round now and again
upon his seat so as to command a sight, sometimes of
me and the doctor, and sometimes of his unruly ruffians
as they went to and fro in the sand, between the fire —
which they were busy rekindling — and the house, from
which they brought forth pork and bread to make the
" So, Jim/' said the doctor, sadly, "here you are. As
you have brewed, so shall you drink, my boy. Heaven
knows, I cannot find it in my heart to blame you; but
this much I will say, be it kind or unkind: when Cap-
tain Smollett was well, you dared not have gone off ;
and when he was ill, and couldn't help it, fey George, it
was downright cowardly! "
1 will own that I here began to weep. **D#ct#r," I
j ON PAROLE
said, "you might spare me. I have blamed myself
enough; my life's forfeit anyway, and I should have
been dead by now, if Silver hadn't stood for me; and
doctor, believe this, I can die — and I daresay I deserve
it — but what I fear is torture. If they come to tor-
ture me "
"Jim," the doctor interrupted, and his voice was quite
changed, "Jim I can't have this. Whip over, and we'll
run for it"
"Doctor," said I, "I passed my word,"
"I know, I know," he cried. "We can't help that,
Jim, now. I'll take it on my shoulders, holus bolus,
blame and shame, my boy ; but stay here, I cannot let
you. Jump! One jump, and you're out, and we'll run
for it like antelopes."
" No," 1 replied, " you know right well you wouldn't
do the thing yourself ; neither you, nor squire, nor cap-
tain; and no more will I. Silver trusted me; I passed
my word, and back I go. But, doctor, you did not let
me finish. If they come to torture me, I might let slip
a word of where the ship is ; for I got the ship, part by
luck and part by risking, and she lies in North Inlet, on
the southern beach, and just below high water. At half
tide she must be high and dry."
"The ship! " exclaimed the doctor.
Rapidly I described to him my adventures, and he
heard me out in silence.
"There is a kind of fate in this," he observed, when
I had done. " Every step, it's you that saves our lives;
and do you suppose by any chance that we are going to
let you lose yours ? That would be a poor return, my
boy. You found out the plot; you found Ben Gunn —
the best deed that ever you did, or will do, though you
live to ninety. Oh, by Jupiter, and talking of Ben Gunn !
why, this is the mischief in person. Silver," he cried,
* ' Silver ! — I'll give you a piece of advice, " he continued,
as the cook drew near again ; " don't you be in any great
hurry after that treasure."
"Why, sir, I do my possible, which that ain't," said
Silver. " I can only, asking your pardon, save my life
and the boy's by seeking for that treasure; and you may
lay to that."
"Well, Silver," replied the doctor, " if that is so, I'll
go one step further: look out for squalls when you
"Sir," said Silver, "as between man and man, that's
too much and too little. What you're after, why you
left the block-house, why you given me that there chart,
I don't know, now, do I ? and yet I done your bidding
with my eyes shut and never a word of hope! But no,
this here's too much. If you won't tell me what you
mean plain out, just say so, and I'll leave the helm."
"No," said the doctor, musingly, "I've no right to
say more ; it's not my secret, you see, Silver, or, I give
you my word, I'd tell it you. But I'll go as far with
you as I dare go, and a step beyond ; for I'll have my
wig sorted by the captain or I'm mistaken ! And, first,
I'll give you a bit of hope: Silver, if we both get alive
out of this wolf-trap, I'll do my best to save you, short
Silver's face was radiant. "You couldn't say more,
I'm sure, sir, not if you was my mother," he cried.
"Well, that's my first concession," added the doctor.
"My second is a piece of advice: Keep the boy close
beside you, and when you need help, halloc. I'm off
to seek it for you, and that itself will show you if I speak
at random. Good-bye, Jim/'
And Dr. Livesey shook hands with me through the
stockade, nodded to Silver, and set off at a brisk pace
into the wood-
THE TREASURE HUNT— FLINT'S POINTER
"Jim," said Silver, when we were alone, "if I saved
your life, you saved mine; and I'll not forget it I seen
the doctor waving you to run for it — with the tail of
my eye, I did ; and I seen you say no, as plain as hear-
ing. Jim, that's one to you. This is the first glint of
hope I had since the attack failed, and I owe it you*
And now, Jim, we're to go in for this here treasure-
hunting, with sealed orders, too, and I don't like it; and
you and me must stick close, back to back like, and
we'll save our necks in spite o' fate and fortune."
Just then a man hailed us from the fire that breakfast
was ready, and we were soon seated here and there
about the sand over biscuit and fried junk. They had
lit a fire fit to roast an ox; and it was now grown so
hot that they could only approach it from the windward,
and even there not without precaution. In the same
wasteful spirit, they had cooked, I suppose, three times
more than we could eat; and one of them, with an
empty laugh, threw what was left into the fire, which
blazed and roared again over this unusual fuel. I never
in my life saw men so careless of the morrow ; hand to
mouth is the only word that can describe their way of
doing; and what with wasted food and sleeping sen*
THE TREASURE HUNT — FLINT'S POINTER
tries, though they were bold enough for a brush and be
done with it, I could see their entire unfitness for any-
thing like a prolonged campaign.
Even Silver, eating away, with Captain Flint upon
his shoulder, had not a word of blame for their reckless-
ness. And this the more surprised me, for I thought
he had never shown himself so cunning as he did then,
4 'Ay, mates/' said he, "it's lucky you have Barbecue
to think for you with this here head. I got what I
wanted, I did. Sure enough, they have the ship. Where
they have it, I don't know yet ; but once we hit the
treasure, we'll have to jump about and find out. And
then, mates, us that has the boats, I reckon, has the
Thus he kept running on, with his mouth full of the
hot bacon : thus he restored their hope and confidence,
and, 1 more than suspect, repaired his own at the same
■ "As for hostage," he continued, "that's his last talk,
1 guess, with them he loves so dear. I've got my piece
o' news, and thanky to him for that ; but it's over and
done. Ill take him in a line when we go treasure-hunt-
ing, forwe'H keep him like so much gold, in case of
accidents, you mark, and in the meantime. Once we
got the ship and treasure both, and off to sea like jolly
companions, why, then, we'll talk Mr. Hawkins over,
we will, and we'll give him his share, to be sure, for aH
It was no wonder the men were in a good humour
now- For my part, I was horribly cast down. Should
the scheme he had now sketched prove feasible, Silver,
already doubly a traitor, w T ou!d not hesitate to adopt it
He had still a foot in either camp, and there was no
doubt he would prefer wealth and freedom with the
pirates to a bare escape from hanging, which was the
best he had to hope on our side.
Nay, and even if things so fell out that he was forced
to keep his faith with Dr. Livesey, even then what dan-
ger lay before us ! What a moment that would be when
the suspicions of his followers turned to certainty, and
he and I should have to fight for dear life — he, a crip-
ple, and I, a boy — against five strong and active sea-
Add to this double apprehension, the mystery that
still hung over the behaviour of my friends ; their unex-
plained desertion of the stockade; their inexplicable
cession of the chart; or, harder still to understand, the
doctor's last warning to Silver, "Look out for squalls
when you find it;" and you will readily believe how
little taste I found in my breakfast, and with how un-
easy a heart I set forth behind my captors on the quest
We made a curious figure, had any one been there to
see us ; all in soiled sailor clothes, and all but me armed
to the teeth. Silver had two guns slung about him —
one before and one behind — besides the great cutlass
at his waist, and a pistol in each pocket of his square-
tailed coat. To complete his strange appearance, Cap-
tain Flint sat perched upon his shoulder and gabbling
odds and ends of purposeless sea-talk. I had a line
about my waist, and followed obediently after the sea-
cook, who held the loose end of the rope, now in his
free hand, now between his powerful teeth. For all the
world, I was led like a dancing bear.
THE TREASURE HUNT — FLINT'S POINTER
The other men were variously burthened ; some carry-
ing picks and shovels — for that had been the very first
necessary they brought ashore from the Hispaniola — •
others laden with pork, bread, and brandy for the mid-
day meal. All the stores, I observed, came from our
stock; and I could see the truth of Silver's words the
night before. Had he not struck a bargain with the
doctor, he and his mutineers, deserted by the ship, must
have been driven to subsist on clear water and the
proceeds of their hunting. Water would have been
little to their taste ; a sailor is not usually a good shot ;
and, besides all that, when they were so short of eat-
ables, it was not likely they would be very flush of
Well, thus equipped, we all set out — even the fellow
with the broken head, who should certainly have kept
in shadow — and straggled, one after another, to the
beach, where the two gigs awaited us. Even these
bore trace of the drunken folly of the pirates, one in a
broken thwart, and both in their muddy and unbailed
condition. Both were to be carried along with us, for
the sake of safety; and so, with our numbers divided
between them, we set forth upon the bosom of the an-
As we pulled over, there was some discussion on the
chart. The red cross was, of course, far too large to be
a guide; and the terms of the note on the back, as you
will hear, admitted of some ambiguity. They ran, the
reader may remember, thus :■ —
" Tall tree, Spy-glass shoulder, bearing a point to the N. of N.N.E.
" Skeleton island E.S.E. and by E.
" Ten feet"
A tafl tree was thus the principal mark. Now, right
before us, the anchorage was bounded by a plateau from
two to three hundred feet high, adjoining on the north
the sloping southern shoulder of the Spy-glass, and ris-
ing again towards the south into the rough, cliffy emi-
nence called the Mizzen-mast Hill. The top of the pla-
teau was dotted thickly with pine trees of varying height.
Every here and there, one of a different species rose forty
or fifty feet clear above its neighbours, and which of
these was the particular "tall tree" of Captain Flint
could only be decided on the spot, and by the readings
of the compass.
Yet, although that was the case, every man on board
the boats had picked a favourite of his own ere we
were half way over, Long John alone shrugging his
shoulders and bidding them wait till they were there.
We pulled easily, by Silver's directions, not to weary
the hands prematurely ; and, after quite a long passage,
landed at the mouth of the second river — that which
runs down a woody cleft of the Spy-glass. Thence,
bending to our left, we began to ascend the slope
towards the plateau.
At the first outset, heavy, miry ground and a matted,
marish vegetation, greatly delayed our progress ; but by
little and little the hill began to steepen and become
stony under foot, and the wood to change its character
and to grow in a more open order. It was, indeed, a
most pleasant portion of the island that we were now
approaching. A heavy-scented broom and many flow-
ering shrubs had almost taken the place of grass.
Thickets of green nutmeg trees were dotted here and
there with the red columns and the broad shadow of
THE TREASURE HUNT — FLINT'S POINTER
the pines; and the first mingled their spice with the
aroma of the others. The air, besides, was fresh and
stirring, and this, under the sheer sunbeams, was a
wonderful refreshment to our senses.
The party spread itself abroad, in a fan shape, shout-
ing and leaping to and fro. About the centre, and a
good way behind the rest, Silver and I followed — I
tethered by my rope, he ploughing, with deep pants,
among the sliding gravel. From time to time, indeed,
I had to lend him a hand, or he must have missed his
footing and fallen backward down the hill.
We had thus proceeded for about half a mile, and
were approaching the brow of the plateau, when the
man upon the farthest left began to cry aloud, as if in
terror. Shout after shout came from him, and the others
began to run in his direction.
" He can't 'a' found the treasure/' said old Morgan,
hurrying past us from the right, "for that's clean a-top."
Indeed, as we found when we also reached the spot,
it was something very different. At the foot of a pretty
big pine, and involved in a green creeper, which had
even partly lifted some of the smaller bones, a human
skeleton lay, with a few shreds of clothing, on the
ground. I believe a chill struck for a moment to every
'■ He was a seaman/' said George Merry, who, bolder
than the rest, had gone up close, and was examining
the rags of clothing. ' ' Leastways, this is good sea-
"Ay, ay/' said Silver, "like enough; you wouldn't
look to find a bishop here, I reckon. But what sort of
a way is that for bones to lie ? 'Tain't in natur'. *
Indeed, on a second glance, it seemed impossible to
fancy that the body was in a natural position. But for
some disarray (the work, perhaps, of the birds that had
fed upon him, or of the slow-growing creeper that had
gradually enveloped his remains) the man lay perfectly
straight — his feet pointing in one direction, his hands,
raised above his head like a diver's, pointing directly in
"I've taken a notion into my old numskull, " ob-
served Silver. "Here's the compass; there's the tip-
top p'int o' Skeleton Island, stickin' out like a tooth.
Just take a bearing, will you, along the line of them
It was done. The body pointed straight in the direc-
tion of the island, and the compass read duly E.S.E. and
' ' I thought so, " cried the cook ; ' ' this here is a p'inter.
Right up there is our line for the Pole Star and the jolly
dollars. But, by thunder! if it don't make me cold in-
side to think of Flint. This is one of his jokes, and no
mistake. Him and these six was alone here; he killed
'em, every man ; and this one he hauled here and laid
down by compass, shiver my timbers! They're long
bones, and the hair's been yellow. Ay, that would be
Allardyce. You mind Allardyce, Tom Morgan ? "
"Ay, ay," returned Morgan, "I mind him; he owed
me money, he did, and took my knife ashore with him."
"Speaking of knives," said another, "why don't we
find his'n lying round ? Flint warn't the man to pick a
seaman's pocket; and the birds, I guess, would leave
"By the powers, and that's true!" cried Silver.
'THERE AIN'T A THING LEFT HERE," SAID MERRY, STILL
FEELING AROUND AMONG THE BONES
THE TREASURE HUNT— FLINT'S POINTER
" There ain't a thing left here," said Merry, still feel-
ing round among the bones, ''not a copper doit nor a
baccy box, It don't look nat'ral to me."
"No, by gum, it don't," agreed Silver; "not nat'ral,
nor not nice, says you. Great guns! messmates, but
if Flint was living, this would be a hot spot for you and
me. Six they were, and six are we; and bones is what
they are now." >
"I saw him dead with these here dead-lights," said
Morgan. ' ' Billy took me in. There he laid, with penny-
pieces on his eyes."
"Dead — ay, sure enough he's dead and gone below, "
said the fellow with the bandage; "but if ever sperrit
walked, it would be Flint's. Dear heart, but he died
bad, did Flint!"
"Ay, that he did," observed another; "now he
raged, and now he hollered for the rum, and now he
sang. ' Fifteen Men " were his only song, mates ; and I
tell you true, 1 never rightly liked to hear it since. It was
main hot, and the windy was open, and I hear that old
song comin' out as clear as clear — and the death-haul
on the man already."
"Come, come," said Silver, "stow this talk. He's
dead, and he don't walk, that I know; leastways, he
won't walk by day, and you may lay to that. Care
killed a cat Fetch ahead for the doubloons."
We started, certainly ; but in spite of the hot sun and
the staring daylight, the pirates no longer ran separate
and shouting through the wood, but kept side by side
and spoke with bated breath. The terror of the dead
buccaneer had fallen on their spirits.
THE TREASURE HUNT — THE VOICE AMONG THE TREES
Partly from the damping influence of this alarm,
partly to rest Silver and the sick folk, the whole party
sat down as soon as they had gained the brow of the
The plateau being somewhat tilted towards the west,
this spot on which we had paused commanded a wide
prospect on either hand. Before us, over the tree-tops,
we beheld the Cape of the Woods fringed with surf ;
behind, we not only looked down upon the anchorage
and Skeleton Island, but saw — clear across the spit and
the eastern lowlands — a great field of open sea upon
the east. Sheer above us rose the Spy-glass, here dotted
with single pines, there black with precipices. There
was no sound but that of the distant breakers, mount-
ing from all round, and the chirp of countless insects in
the brush. Not a man, not a sail upon the sea; the very
largeness of the view increased the sense of solitude.
Silver, as he sat, took certain bearings with his com-
" There are three 'tall trees/" said he, " about in the
right line from Skeleton Island. 'Spy-glass Shoulder/
I take it, means that lower p'int there. It's child's play
to find the stuff now. I've half a mind to dine first/'
THE VOICE AMONG THE TREES
"I don't feel sharp," growled Morgan. "Thinkin'
o 5 Flint — 1 think it were — as done me."
"Ah, well, my son, you praise your stars he's dead,"
" He were an ugly devil," cried a third pirate, with a
shudder; "that blue in the face, too! "
"That was how the rum took him," added Merry.
"Blue! well, I reckon he was blue. That's a true
Ever since they had found the skeleton and got upon
this train of thought, they had spoken lower and lower*
and they had almost got to whispering by now, so that
the sound of their talk hardly interrupted the silence of
the wood. All of a sudden, out of the middle of the
trees in front of us, a thin, high, trembling voice struck
up the well-known air and words : —
** Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum ! "
1 never have seen men more dreadfully affected than
the pirates. The colour went from their six faces like
enchantment; some leaped to their feet, some clawed
hold of others ; Morgan grovelled on the ground-
" It's Flint, by ! " cried Merry.
The song had stopped as suddenly as it began —
broken off, you would have said, in the middle of a
note, as though some one had laid his hand upon the
singer's mouth. Coming so far through the clear, sunny
atmosphere among the green tree-tops, I thought it h*d
sounded airily and sweetly ; and the effect on my com-
panions was the stranger.
"Come," said Silver, struggling with his ashen lips
to get the word out, " this won't do. Stand by to go
about This is a rum start, and I can't name the voice :
but it's some one skylarking — some one that's flesh and
blood, and you may lay to that."
His courage had come back as he spoke, and some of
the colour to his face along with it. Already the others
had begun to lend an ear to this encouragement, and
were coming a little to themselves, when the same
voice broke out again — not this time singing, but in a
faint distant hail, that echoed yet fainter among the
clefts of the Spy-glass.
"Darby M'Graw," it wailed — for that is the word
that best describes the sound — "Darby M'Graw! Darby
M'Graw ! " again and again and again; and then rising
a little higher, and with an oath that I leave out, " Fetch
aft the rum, Darby ! "
The buccaneers remained rooted to the ground, their
eyes starting from their heads. Long after the voice had
died away they still stared in silence, dreadfully, before
' ' That fixes it ! " gasped one. ' ' Let's go ! "
"They was his last words/' moaned Morgan, "his
last words above board."
Dick had his Bible out, and was praying volubly. He
had been well brought up, had Dick, before he came to
sea and fell among bad companions.
Still, Silver was unconquered. I could hear his teeth
rattle in his head ; but he had not yet surrendered.
" Nobody in this here island ever heard of Darby," he
muttered; "not one but us that's here." And then,
making a great effort, " Shipmates," he cried, " I'm here
to get that stuff, and I'll not be beat by man nor devil.
THE VOICE AMONG THE TREES
I never was feared of Flint in his life, and, by the po>* ■
ers, I'll face him dead. There's seven hundred thousand
pound not a quarter of a mile from here. When did
ever a gentleman o' fortune show his stern to that much
dollars, for a boosy old seaman with a blue mug — and
him dead, too?"
But there was no sign of re-awakening courage in his
followers; rather, indeed, of growing terror at the ir-
reverence of his words.
" Belay there, John ! " said Merry. "Don't you cross
a sperrit. "
And the rest were all too terrified to reply. They
would have run away severally had they dared; but fear
kept them together, and kept them close by John, as if
his daring helped them. He, on his part, had pretty
well fought his weakness down.
" Sperrit ? Well, maybe, " he said. "But there's one
thing not clear to me. There was an echo. Now, no
man ever seen a sperrit with a shadow; well, then,
what's he doing with an echo to him, I should like to
know ? That ain't in natur', surely ?"
This argument seemed weak enough to me. But you
can never tell what will affect the superstitious, and, to
my wonder, George Merry was greatly relieved.
"Well, that's so," he said. "You've a head upon
your shoulders, John, and no mistake. 'Bout ship,
mates! This here crew is on a wrong tack, I do believe.
And come to think on it, it was like Flint's voice, I
grant you, but not just so clear-away like it, after
all. It was liker somebody else's voice now — it was
"By the powers, Ben Gunn! " roared Silver.
" Ay f and so it were/' cried Morgan, springing on bis
knees. 4i Ben Gunn it were ! "
"It don't make much odds, do it, now?" asked
Dick. ** Ben Gunn's not here in the body, any more'n
But the older hands greeted this remark with scorn.
"Why, nobody minds Ben Gunn/* cried Merry;
"dead or alive, nobody minds him."
It was extraordinary how their spirits had returned,
and how the natural colour had revived in their faces.
Soon they were chatting together, with intervals of lis-
tening; and not long after, hearing no further sound,
they shouldered the tools and set forth again, Merry
walking first with Silver's compass to keep them on
the right line with Skeleton Island. He had said the
truth : dead or alive, nobody minded Ben Gunn.
Dick alone still held his Bible, and looked around him
as he went, with fearful glances ; but he found no sym-
pathy, and Silver even joked him on his precautions.
M I told you," said he — "I told you, you had sp'iled
your Bible. If it ain't no good to swear by, what do
you suppose a sperrit would give for it? Not that!"
and he snapped his big fingers, halting a moment on his
But Dick was not to be comforted; indeed, it was
soon plain to me that the lad was falling sick; hastened
by heat, exhaustion, and the shock of his alarm, the fever,
predicted by Doctor Livesey, was evidently growing
It was fine open walking here, upon the summit; our
way lay a little down-hill, for, as I have said, the plateau
tilted towards the west. The pines, great and small,
THE VOICE AMONG THE TREES
grew wide apart; and even between the clumps of nut-
meg and azalea, wide open spaces baked in the hot sun-
shine. Striking, as we did, pretty near north-west across
the island, we drew, on the one hand, ever nearer under
the shoulders of the Spy-glass, and on the other, looked
ever wider over that western bay where I had once tossed
and trembled in the coracle.
The first of the tall trees was reached, and by the bear-
ing, proved the wrong one. So with the second. The
third rose nearly two hundred feet into the air above a
clump of underwood; a giant of a vegetable, with a red
column as big as a cottage, and a wide shadow around
in which a company could have manoeuvred. It was
conspicuous far to sea both on the east and west, and
might have been entered as a sailing mark upon the
But it was not its size that now impressed my com-
panions; it was the knowledge that seven hundred
thousand pounds in gold lay somewhere buried below
its spreading shadow. The thought of the money, as
they drew nearer, swallowed up their previous terrors.
Their eyes burned in their heads ; their feet grew speedier
and lighter; their whole soul was bound up in that
fortune, that whole lifetime of extravagance and pleasure,
that lay waiting there for each of them.
Silver hobbled, grunting, on his crutch; his nostrils
stood out and quivered ; he cursed like a madman when
the flies settled on his hot and shiny countenance; he
plucked furiously at the line that held me to him, and,
from time to time, turned his eyes upon me with a
deadly look. Certainly he took no pains to hide his
thoughts; and certainly I read them like print. In the
immediate nearness of the gold, all else had been for-
gotten ; his promise and the doctor's warning were both
things of the past; and I could not doubt that he hoped
to seize upon the treasure, find and board the HiSpaniola
under cover of night, cut every honest throat about that
island, and sail away as he had at first intended, laden
with crimes and riches.
Shaken as I was with these alarms, it was hard for me
to keep up with the rapid pace of the treasure-hunters.
Now and again I stumbled ; and it was then that Silver
plucked so roughly at the rope and launched at me his
murderous glances. Dick, who had dropped behind us,
and now brought up the rear, was babbling to himself
both prayers and curses, as his fever kept rising. This
also added to my wretchedness, and, to crown all, I was
haunted by the thought of the tragedy that had once been
acted on that plateau, when that ungodly buccaneer with
the blue face — he who died at Savannah, singing and
shouting for drink — had there, with his own hand, cut
down his six accomplices. This grove, that was now
so peaceful, must then have rung with cries, I thought;
and even with the thought I could believe I heard it
We were now at the margin of the thicket.
" Huzza, mates, all together ! " shouted Merry ; and the
foremost broke into a run.
And suddenly, not ten yards further, we beheld them
stop. A low cry arose. Silver doubled his pace, digging
away with the foot of his crutch like one possessed:
and next moment he and I had come also to a dead halt.
Before us was a great excavation, not very recent, for
the sides had fallen in and grass had sprouted on th#
THE VOICE AMONG THE TREES
bottom. In this were the shaft of a pick broken in two
and the boards of several packing-cases strewn around.
On one of these boards I saw, branded with a hot ffon,
the name Walrm — the name of Flint's ship.
All was clear to probation. The cache had been
found and rifled: the seven hundred thousand pounds
THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN
There never was such an overturn in this world. Each
of these six men was as though he had been struck. But
with Silver the blow passed almost instantly. Every
thought of his soul had been set full-stretch, like a racer,
on that money; well, he was brought up in a single
second, dead ; and he kept his head, found his temper,
and changed his plan before the others had had time to
realize the disappointment.
"Jim," he whispered, "take that, and stand by for
And he passed me a double-barrelled pistol.
At the same time he began quietly moving northward,
and in a few steps had put the hollow between us two
and the other five. Then he looked at me and nodded.,
as much as to say, "Here is a narrow corner," as, in-
deed, I thought it was. His looks were now quite
friendly ; and I was so revolted at these constant changes,
that I could not forbear whispering, " So you've changed
There was no time left for him to answer in. The
buccaneers, with oaths and cries, began to leap, one after
another, into the pit, and to dig with their fingers, throw-
ing the boards aside as they did so. Morgan found a
THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN
piece of gold. He held it up with a perfect spout of
oaths. It was a two-guinea piece, and it went from
hand to hand among them for a quarter of a minute,
"Two guineas !" roared Merry, shaking it at Silver.
" That's your seven hundred thousand pounds, is it ?
You're the man for bargains, ain't you? You're him
that never bungled nothing, you wooden-headed lub-
"Dig away, boys/' said Silver, with the coolest in-
solence; "you'll find some pig-nuts and I shouldn't
" Pig-nuts! " repeated Merry, in a scream. "Mates,
do you hear that? I tell you, now, that man there
knew it all along. Look in the face of him, and you'll
see it wrote there."
"Ah, Merry," remarked Silver, "standing for cap'n
again ? You're a pushing lad, to be sure."
But this time every one was entirely in Merry's favour.
They began to scramble out of the excavation, darting
furious glances behind them. One thing I observed,
which looked well for us : they all got out upon the op-
posite side from Silver.
Well, there we stood, two on one side, five on the
other, the pit between us, and nobody screwed up high
enough to offer the first blow. Silver never moved ; he
watched them, very upright on his crutch, and looked
as cool as ever I saw him. He was brave, and no mis-
At last, Merry seemed to think a speech might help
"Mates," says he, "there's two of them alone there;
one's the old cripple that brought us all here and blun
dered us down to this ; the other's that cub that I mean
to have the heart of. Now, mates "
He was raising his arm and his voice, and plainly
meant to lead a charge. But just then — crack! crack!
crack! — three musket-shots flashed out of the thicket.
Merry tumbled head foremost into the excavation ; the
man with the bandage spun round like a teetotum, and
fell all his length upon his side, where he lay dead, but
still twitching; and the other three turned and ran for it
with all their might.
Before you could wink, Long John had fired two bar-
rels of a pistol into the struggling Merry ; and as the man
rolled up his eyes at him in the last agony, " George/'
said he, "I reckon I settled you."
At the same moment the doctor. Gray, and Ben Gunn
joined us, with smoking muskets, from among the nut-
"Forward!" cried the doctor. "Double quick, my
lads. We must head 'em off the boats."
And we set off at a great pace, sometimes plunging
through the bushes to the chest.
I tell you, but Silver was anxious to keep up with us.
The work that man went through, leaping on his crutch
till the muscles of his chest were fit to burst, was work
no sound man ever equalled ; and so thinks the doctor.
As it was, he was already thirty yards behind us, and
on the verge of strangling, when we reached the brow
of the slope.
"Doctor," he hailed, "see there! no hurry!"
Sure enough there was no hurry. In a more open
part of the plateau, we could see the three survivors still
running in the same direction as they had started, right
'LONG JOHN HAD FIRED TWO BARRELS OF A PISTOL INTO
THE STRUGGLING MERRY"
THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN
for Mizzen-mast Hill. We were already between them
and the boats; and so we four sat down to breathe,
while Long John, mopping his face, came slowly up
" Thank ye kindly, doctor/' says he, " You came in
in about the nick, I guess, for me and Hawkins. And
so it's you, Ben Gunn!" he added. "Well, you're a
nice one to be sure."
"I'm Ben Gunn, I am," replied the maroon, wrig-
gling like an eel in his embarrassment. "And," he
added, after a long pause, " how do, Mr. Silver ? Pretty
well, I thank ye, says you."
"Ben, Ben," murmured Silver, "to think as you've
The doctor sent back Gray for one of the pickaxes,
deserted, in their flight, by the mutineers; and then as
we proceeded leisurely down hill to where the boats
were lying, related, in a few words, what had taken
place. It was a story that profoundly interested Silver;
and Ben Gunn, the half-idiot maroon, was the hero from
beginning to end.
Ben, in his long, lonely wanderings about the island,
had found the skeleton — it was he that had rifled it ; he
had found the treasure; he had dug it up (it was the
haft of his pickaxe that lay broken in the excavation) ;
he had carried it on his back, in many weary journeys,
from the foot of the tall pine to a cave he had on the
two-pointed hill at the north-east angle of the island,
and there it had lain stored in safety since two months
before the arrival of the Hispaniola.
When the doctor had wormed this secret from him,
<*n the afternoon of the attack, and when, next morning,
he saw the anchorage deserted, he had gone to Silver,
given him the chart, which was now useless — given
him the stores, for Ben Gunn's cave was well supplied
with goats' meat salted by himself — given anything and
everything to get a chance of moving in safety from the
stockade to the two-pointed hill, there to be clear of
malaria and keep a guard upon the money.
"As for you, Jim," he said, "it went against my
heart, but I did what I thought best for those who had
stood by their duty; and if you were not one of these,
whose fault was it ? "
That morning, finding that I was to be involved in
the horrid disappointment he had prepared for the mu-
tineers, he had run all the way to the cave, and, leaving
the squire to guard the captain, had taken Gray and the
maroon, and started, making the diagonal across the
island, to be at hand beside the pine. Soon, however,
he saw that our party had the start of him; and Ben
Gunn, being fleet of foot, had been despatched in front
to do his best alone. Then it had occurred to him to
work upon the superstitions of his former shipmates ;
and he was so far successful that Gray and the doctor
had come up and were already ambushed before the ar-
rival of the treasure-hunters.
"Ah," said Silver, "it were fortunate for me that I
had Hawkins here. You would have let old John be
cut to bits, and never given it a thought, doctor."
"Not a thought," replied Doctor Livesey, cheerily.
And by this time we had reached the gigs. The
doctor, with a pickaxe, demolished one of them, and
then we all got aboard the other, and set out to go
round by sea for North Inlet.
THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN
This was a run of eight or nine miles. Silver, though
he was almost killed already with fatigue, was set to
an oar, like the rest of us, and we were soon skimming
swiftly over a smooth sea. Soon we passed out of the
straits and doubled the south-east corner of the island,
round which, four days ago, we had towed the Hispa-
As we passed th& two-pointed hill, we could see the
black mouth of Ben Gunn's cave, and a figure standing
by it, leaning on a musket. It was the squire ; and we
waved a handkerchief and gave him three cheers, in
which the voice of Silver joined as heartily as any.
Three miles farther, just inside the mouth of North
Inlet, what should we meet but the Hifpantola, cruising
by herself? The last flood had lifted her; and had there
been much wind, or a strong tide current, as in the
southern anchorage, we should never have found her
more, or found her stranded beyond help. As it was,
there was little amiss, beyond the wreck of the mainsail.
Another anchor was got ready, and dropped in a fathom
and a half of water. We all pulled round again to Rum
Cove, the nearest point for Ben Gunn's treasure-house;
and then Gray, single-handed, returned with the gig to
the Hi§paniola, where he was to pass the night on
A gentle slope ran up from the beach to the entrance
of the cave. At the top, the squire met us. To me he
was cordial and kind, saying nothing of my escapade,
either in the way of blame or praise. At Silver's polite
salute he somewhat flushed.
1 'John Silver," he said, "you're a prodigious villain
and impostor — a monstrous impostor, sir. I am told I
am not to prosecute you. Well, then, I will not But
the dead men, sir, hang about your neck like mill-
"Thank you kindly, sir/' replied Long John, again
"I dare you to thank me! " cried the squire. " It is
a gross dereliction of my duty. Stand back."
And thereupon we all entered the cave. It was a
large, airy place, with a little spring and a pool of clear
water, overhung with ferns. The floor was sand. Be-
fore a big fire lay Captain Smollett ; and in a far corner,
only duskily flickered over by the blaze, I beheld great
heaps of coin and quadrilaterals built of bars of gold.
That was Flint's treasure that we had come so far to
seek, and that had cost already the lives of seventeen
men from the Hispaniola. How many it had cost in the
amassing, what blood and sorrow, what good ships
scuttled on the deep, what brave men walking the plank
blindfold, what shot of cannon, what shame and lies and
cruelty, perhaps no man alive could tell. Yet there were
still three upon that island — Silver, and old Morgan,
and Ben Gunn — who had each taken his share in these
crimes, as each had hoped in vain to share in the re-
"Come in, Jim," said the captain. "You're a good
boy in your line, Jim ; but I don't think you and me'll go
to sea again. You're too much of the born favourite for
me. Is that you, John Silver ? What brings you here,
"Come back to my dooty, sir," returned Silver.
" Ah ! " said the captain ; and that was all he said.
What a supper I had of it that night, with all my
THE FALL OF A CHIEFTAIN
friends around me ; and what a meal it was, with Ben
Gunn's salted goat, and some delicacies and a bottle of
old wine from the Hispaniola. Never, I am sure, were
people gayer or happier. And there was Silver, sitting
back almost out of the firelight, but eating heartily,
prompt to spring forward when anything was wanted,
even joining quietly in our laughter — the same bland,
polite, obsequious seaman of the voyage out.
The next morning we fell early to work, for the trans-
portation of this great mass of gold near a mile fr,y land
to the beach, and thence three miles by boat to the
HiSpaniola, was a considerable task for so small a num-
ber of workmen. The three fellows still abroad upon
the island did not greatly trouble us ; a single sentry on
the shoulder of the hill was sufficient to insure us against
any sudden onslaught, and we thought, Upsides, they
had had more than enough of fighting.
Therefore the work was pushed on brickly. Gray and
Ben Gunn came and went with the boat, while the rest,
during their absences, piled treasure on The beach. Two
of the bars, slung in a rope's-end, made a good load for
a grown man — one that he was glad to walk slowly
with. For my part, as I was not much use at carrying,
I was kept busy all day in the cave, packing the minted
money into bread-bags.
It was a strange collection, like Billy Bones's hoard
for the diversity of coinage, but so much larger and so
much more varied that I think I never had more pleas-
ure than in sorting them. English, French, Spanish,
Portuguese, Georges, and Louises, doubloons and double
guineas and moidores and sequins, the pictures of all the
kings of Europe for the last hundred years, strange Ori-
ental pieces stamped with what looked like wisps of
string or bits of spider's web, round pieces and square
pieces, and pieces bored through the middle, as if to
wear them round your neck — nearly every variety of
money in the world must, I think, have found a place
in that collection ; and for number, 1 am sure they were
like autumn leaves, so that my back ached with stoop-
ing and my fingers with sorting them out.
Day after day this work went on ; by every evening a
fortune had been stowed aboard, but there was another
fortune waiting for the morrow ; and all this time we
heard nothing of the three surviving mutineers.
At last — I think it was on the third night — the doc-
tor and I were strolling on the shoulder of the hill where
it overlooks the lowlands of the isle, when, from out the
thick darkness below, the wind brought us a noise be-
tween shrieking and singing. It was only a snatch that
reached our ears, followed by the former silence.
" Heaven forgive them, " said the doctor, M 'tis the mu-
" All drunk, sir/' struck in the voice of Silver from
Silver, I should say, was allowed his entire liberty,
and, in spite of daily rebuffs, seemed to regard himself
once more as quite a privileged and friendly dependant
Indeed, it was remarkable how well he bore these
slights, and with what unwearying politeness he kept
on trying to ingratiate himself with all. Yet, I think,
none treated him better than a dog; unless it was Ben
Gunn, who was still terribly afraid of his old quarter-
master, or myself, who had really something to thank
him for; although for that matter, I suppose, I had
reason to think even worse of him than anybody else,
for I had seen him meditating a fresh treachery upon the
plateau. Accordingly, it was pretty gruffly that the
doctor answered him.
" Drunk or raving,'' said he.
" Right you were, sir," replied Silver; "and precious
little odds which, to you and me."
"1 suppose you would hardly ask me to call you a
humane man," returned the doctor, with a sneer, "and
so my feelings may surprise you, Master Silver. But if
I were sure they were raving — as I am morally certain
one, at least, of them is down with fever — I should
leave this camp, and, at whatever risk to my own car-
cass, take them the assistance of my skill."
"Ask your pardon, sir, you would be very wrong,"
quoth Silver. "You would lose your precious life, and
you may lay to that. I'm on your side now, hand and
glove ; and I shouldn't wish for to see the party weak-
ened, let alone yourself, seeing as 1 know what I owes
you. But these men down there, they couldn't keep their
word — no, not supposing they wished to ; and what's
more, they couldn't believe as you could. "
"No," said the doctor. "You're the man to keep
your word, we know that."
Well, that was about the last news we had of the
three pirates. Only once we heard a gunshot a great
way off, and supposed them to be hunting. A council
was held, and it was decided that we must desert them
on the island — to the huge glee, I must say, of Ben
Gunn, and with the strong approval of Gray. We left a
good stock of powder and shot, the bulk of the salt
goat, a few medicines, and some other necessaries, tools,
clothing, a spare sail, a fathom or two of rope, and, by
the particular desire of the doctor, a handsome present
That was about our last doing on the island. Before
that, we had got the treasure stowed, and had shipped
enough water and the remainder of the goat meat, in
case of any distress ; and at last, one fine morning, we
weighed anchor, which was about all that we could
manage, and stood out of North Inlet, the same colours
flying that the captain had flown and fought under at
The three fellows must have been watching us closer
than we thought for, as we soon had proved. For,
coming through the narrows, we had to lie very near
the southern point, and there we saw all three of them
kneeling together on a spit of sand, with their arms
raised in supplication. It went to all our hearts, I think,
to leave them in that wretched state ; but we could not
risk another mutiny; and to take them home for the
gibbet would have been a cruel sort of kindness. The
doctor hailed them and told them of the stores we had
left, and where they were to find them. But they con-
tinued to call us by name, and appeal to us, for God's
sake, to be merciful, and not leave them to die in such
At last, seeing the ship still bore on her course, and
was now swiftly drawing out of earshot, one of them —
I know not which it was — leapt to his feet with a hoarse
cry, whipped his musket to his shoulder, and sent a
shot whistling over Silver's head and through the main
After that, we kept under cover of the bulwarks, and
when next I looked out they had disappeared from the
spit, and the spit itself had almost melted out of sight in
the growing distance. That was, at least, the end of
that; and before noon, to my inexpressible joy, the
highest rock of Treasure Island had sunk into the blue
round of sea.
We were so short of men, that every one on board
had to bear a hand — only the captain lying on a mat-
tress in the stern and giving his orders; for, though
greatly recovered he was still in want of quiet. We
laid her head for the nearest port in Spanish America,
for we could not risk the voyage home without fresh
hands; and as it was, what with baffling winds and a
couple of fresh gales, we were all worn out before we
It was just at sundown when we cast anchor in a
most beautiful land-locked gulf, and were immediately
surrounded by shore boats full of negroes, and Mexican
Indians, and half-bloods, selling fruits and vegetables,
and offering to dive for bits of money. The sight of so
many good-humoured faces (especially the blacks), the
taste of the tropical fruits, and above all, the lights that
began to shine in the town, made a most charming con-
trast to our dark and bloody sojourn on the island ; and
the doctor and the squire, taking me along with them,
went ashore to pass the early part of the night. Here
they met the captain of an English man-of-war, fell in
talk with him, went on board his ship, and, in short,
had so agreeable a time, that day was breaking when we
came alongside the Hixpaniola.
Ben Gunn was on deck alone, and, as soon as we
came on board, he began, with wonderful contortions*
to make us a confession. Silver was gone. The ma-
roon had connived at his escape in a shore boat some
hours ago, and he now assured us he had only done so
to preserve our lives, which would certainly have been
forfeit if " that man with the one leg had stayed aboard."
But this was not all. The sea-cook had not gone empty-
handed. He had cut through a bulkhead unobserved,
and had removed one of the sacks of coin, worth, pejr-
haps, three or four hundred guineas, to help him on his
1 think we were all pleased to be so cheaply quit of
Well, to make a long story short, we got a few hands
on board, made a good cruise home, and the Hispaniola
reached Bristol just as Mr. Blandly was beginning to
think of fitting out her consort. Five men only of thosfc
who had sailed returned with her. "Drink and the
devil had done for the rest," with a vengeance; al-
though, to be sure, we were not quite in so bad a case
as that other ship they sang about:
" With one man of her crew alive,
What put to sea with seventy-five. w
AH of us had an ample share of the treasure, and used
it wisely or foolishly, according to our natures. Cap-
tain Smollett is now retired from the sea. Gray not
only saved his money, but, being suddenly smit with
the desire to rise, also studied his profession ; and he fe
now mate and part owner of a fine full-rigged ship;
married besides, and the father of a family. As for Bell
Gunn, he got a thousand pounds, which he spent of
lost in three weeks, or, to be more exact, in nineteen
days, for he was back begging on the twentieth. Then
he was given a lodge to keep, exactly as he had feared
upon the island; and he still lives, a great favourite,
though something of a butt, with the country boys, and
a notable singer in church on Sundays and saints' days.
Of Silver we have heard no more. That formidable
seafaring man with one leg has at last gone clean out of
my life; but I daresay he met his old negress, and per-
haps still lives in comfort with her and Captain Flint.
It is to be hoped so, I suppose, for his chances of com-
fort in another world are very small.
The bar silver and the arms still lie, for all that I know,
where Flint buried them ; and certainly they shall lie
there for me. Oxen and wain-ropes would not bring
me back again to that accursed island ; and the worst
dreams that ever I have are when I hear the surf boom-
ing about its coasts, or start upright in bed, with the
sharp voice of Captain Flint still ringing in my ears:
** Pieces of eight ! pieces of eight ! "